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M.A., LITT.D., LL-D.*^ 

Render therefore to Caesar the things 
that are Caesar's and to God the things 
that are God's. Matthew xxii, 21. 




Copyright, 1922, 

All Rights Reserved 

Printed in the TTnlted States of America 




XXXIII The Providential Leader 585-594 

Silver jubilee of Gibbons' episcopacy celebrated in 1893 w^hen 
his influence was nearing its height. — Letter and gift from 
Leo XIII. — Sermon of Archbishop Ireland in the Baltimore 
Cathedral on "The Church and the Age." — He hails Leo as 
the providential Pope and Gibbons as the providential Arch- 
bishop, "a Catholic of Catholics, an American of Americans." 
—Banquet in honor of Gibbons attended by high public offi- 
cers. — He expresses satisfaction with the relations of Church 
and State in the United States. — Profoundly moved by the 
death of Cardinal Manning. — Their close relations and 
sharing of views. 

XXXIV War with Spain— Friar Lands 59S-623 

Gibbons' work for international peace. — Letter commending 
President Cleveland on the Venezuela arbitration. — He joins 
Cardinals Logue and Vaughan in an appeal to the English 
speaking peoples in behalf of arbitration. — Urges calmness in 
the American attitude following the explosion which wrecked 
the battleship Maine in Havana harbor. — Supports the Papal 
offer of mediation between Spain and the United States. — 
When war breaks out he urges that "we must love our 
country next to God and be ready to die for it if necessary." 
— Cooperation with the Government during the War. — 
McKinley consults him on the retention of the Philippines. — 
He makes possible the purchase of the Friar lands in the 
Philippines on the American terms when all other efforts 
fail. — Another visit to Rome. 

XXXV Influence on the Election of Pius X . . . . 624-651 

President Cleveland sends through Cardinal Gibbons a gift 
to Leo XIII in honor of the golden jubilee of the Pope's 
episcopate. — Leo's silver jubilee as Pope. — Death of Leo. — 
Gibbons hastens to Rome in order to be the first American 
to take part in electing a Pope. — Regulations of the Conclave. 
— Austria vetoes the election of Rampolla. — The voting turns 
to Cardinal Sarto, but he declines support.— ^-Cardinal Gibbons 
induces Satolli to carry a plea to Cardinal Sarto which 
induces him to accept. — Sarto takes the name of Pius X. — 
Marks of his gratitude to Gibbons. — Their conferences on 


the Church in America. — The new Pope promises help to the 
Catholic University. 

XXXVI New Ovations at Home 652-669 

Gibbons' prestige at home and abroad heightened by his influ- 
ence on the decision of the Papal Conclave. — Great public 
welcome in Baltimore on his return. — In a sermon on the 
Conclave he tells of the fairness vi^hich is attained in the 
procedure that marks the election of a Pope. — Pius writes to 
him of the consolation caused by the progress of the Church 
in America. — Visit to Rome in 1908. — The Pope's sympathy 
with him in an illness in Rome. — Preaches in Westminster 
Cathedral at the London Eucharistic Congress on the ties 
between English and American Catholics. — Welcomed again 
on his return to Baltimore. 

XXXVII Checking the Tide of Socialism 670-(&2 

Apprehensions of Cardinal Gibbons stirred by the sudden 
increase in the Socialist vote in America in 1904. — Condemna- 
tion of Socialism by Popes. — Gibbons delivers a sermon 
against it, a short time before the celebration of the centenary 
of the Baltimore Cathedral and his own silver jubilee as 
Archbishop. — The celebration takes the form of a massing of 
the Church's influence in America against Socialism. — Deliv- 
erances by Archbishops Glennon and Ryan. — Forces arrayed 
against the growth of Socialism among foreigners within the 
Catholic fold. 

XXXVIII Sympathy with French Catholics .... 684-687 

Gibbons deplores excesses committed in France during the 
agitation over the passage and application of the Law of 
Associations. — Ties between French and American Catholics 
dating from Colonial times. — American bishops request 
Gibbons to address a letter to the Catholics of France ex- 
pressing sympathy and hopes for better conditions ; he con- 
trasts in the letter the liberty and protection of religion in 
America with the situation in France. — Reply of Cardinal 
Richard. — Cardinal Gibbons, in a public statement later, cites 
anti-Christian propaganda by extremist supporters of the 
French legislation. 

XXXIX Civic Honors at Jubilee 688-710 

Unprecedented civic demonstration in honor of Gibbons at the 
celebration of his silver jubilee as Cardinal and his golden 
jubilee as priest. — Twenty thousand persons acclaim him in 
the largest hall in Baltimore. — Addresses paying tribute to his 
services to the nation, the State and the city and to world wel- 
fare made by President Taft, ex-President Roosevelt, Vice- 
President Sherman, Senator Root, Speaker Clark, of the 
House of Representatives, British Ambassador Bryce, the 



Governor of Maryland, the Mayor of Baltimore and others.— 
The Cardinal, in responding, testifies anew to his faith in his 
country, and to the essentially religious nature of its people," 
exhorting also the duty of loyalty to its constituted authori- 
ties. — Public comments on the demonstration. 

XL The Hierarchy's Plaudits 7i 1-739 

Great religious celebration held to mark the Gibbons jubilee. 
—The Cardinal expresses agreement with non-Catholic oppo- 
sition to decreeing a municipal holiday in honor of the 
church celebration and expresses thanks for the holiday that 
had been decreed in honor of the civic celebration of his 
jubilee. — In a sermon a week before the religious observance, 
he opposes the then proposed constitutional amendments for 
the election of United States Senators by popular vote and 
the initiative, referendum and recall of public officers. — Lays 
the cornerstone of Gibbons Hall at the Catholic University — 
Large gathering of prelates at the main celebration in the 
Baltimore Cathedral. — Tributes to the Cardinal by Arch- 
bishops Glennon and Blenk. 

XLI Some Events of Later Years 740-760 

Sermon of Gibbons as the great Baltimore fire of 1904 began 
indicated a vein of the prophetic. — Other instances of the 
same quality. — Determined efforts to retrieve the Catholic 
University's loss in the Waggaman failure. — Silver anniver- 
sary of the University. — Exhortations to civic duty. — Over- 
come by the financial indiscretions of a priest, whose debts 
he pledges himself to pay. — Debate in published articles with 
Thomas A. Edison on Immortality. — Shock at the death of 
Archbishop Ryan. — His last meeting with Pius X. — Guest of 
King Albert in Brussels. — Golden Jubilee o.f his episcopate. — 
Letter from Benedict XV and visits from delegations of 
English, French and Belgian Catholics. 

XLII Manifold Public Relations 761-778 

Gibbons' estimate of individual civic responsibility in Ameri- 
can life. — His citizenship accepted as a national model. — His 
opinions expressed regardless of the popular trend. — Inde- 
pendent in politics. — Offers prayer at national nominating con- 
ventions of both the leading political parties. — Influence in 
preventing American abandonment of the Philippines in 1913. 
— Deplores revolutionary excesses in Mexico. — Aids refugee 
priests and nuns from that country. — Address at Third Na- 
tional Peace Congress. — Help in overthrowing the Louisiana 
lottery. — Commendation by Lyman Abbott. 

XLIII Prohibitign and Woman Suffrage 779-788 

Services of Cardinal Gibbons to the cause of temperance in 
the use of liquor. — He opposes national prohibition as unen- 



forceable but favors local option. — Warns against the enact- 
ment of a State prohibition bill in Maryland. — Courage of his 
public utterances on the question. — He opposes general suf- 
frage for women but favors municipal suffrage for women 
who own property. — Fears of the impairment of woman's in- 
fluence in the home by political activity. — Exalts motherhood. 
— Letter to the Congress of Mothers. — He combats the 
divorce evil and "race suicide." 

XLIV Wide Scope as Citizen 789-803 

Institution of the annual Pan-American Thanksgiving Mass 
in Washington. — Wilson the last of many Presidents with 
whom Gibbons came in contact at the White House. — Their 
first meeting and subsequent cooperation in the World War. 
— Article in the North American Review on the harmony of 
the Catholic faith with American institutions. — Offers prayer 
at the dedication of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. — 
Gratitude of negroes for his help. — Denunciation of lynching. 
— Opposition to educational requirement for immigrants. — 
Letter on the persecution of Jews in parts of Europe. — 
Vigorous criticisms of national faults. — Denunciation of 
ballot frauds. 

XLV Stress of the World War 804-829 

Invasion of Belgium by the German armies begins soon after 
Gibbons' eightieth birthday. — Expresses the hope that 
America may avoid being involved in the war. — Death of 
Pius X, August 20, 1914. — Gibbons arrives in Rome too late 
to vote in the ensuing Conclave. — Consultations with Bene- 
dict XV. — Horror at the sinking of the Lusitania. — Gibbons 
the medium of communications between Benedict XV and 
President Wilson on steps for bringing world peace. — When 
America enters the war, the Archbishops, on his proposal, 
pledge their active cooperation in the national effort. — 
National Catholic War Council organizes under his presi- 
dency to coordinate Catholic war activities. — Help to Liberty 
Loans. — Defends Benedict XV's course in the war. — Inde- 
fatigable services to the country in many ways during the 

XLVI After the Armistice 830^42 

Gibbons declares that Catholic pledges of support to the 
Government in the war have been fulfilled. — lletter urging 
President Wilson to visit the Pope. — The President's confer- 
ence with Benedict XV. — Gibbons' interest in the problems 
of reconstruction. — Warning against activities by foreign 
radicals in the United States. — Cardinal Mercier his guest in 
Baltimore. — Help to Belgian relief movements. — Pastoral 
letter by the hierarchy on reconstruction. — Sermon of Gibbons 



on America as the Good Samaritan of Europe. — Declares his 
support of the League of Nations. — Expresses confidence in 
the stability of America under the new conditions. 

XLVII Characteristics as a Preacher 843-872 

Novel character of the congregations at the Baltimore Cathe- 
dral when Cardinal Gibbons preached. — Large proportion of 
non-Catholics present. — Overflowing crowds. — His appearance 
in the pulpit. — Methods of delivering sermons. — Simplicity 
of utterance designed to appeal to the greatest number. — Re- 
markable memory which enabled him to deliver prepared ser- 
mons without reference to manuscript. — Impressions pro- 
duced on the hearer. — The training of his voice enforced by 
ill health in early life. — Selection of topics of general appeal 
for sermons. — Religious themes sometimes accompanied by 
their direct application to pending public questions. — Extracts 
from some of his sermons which illustrated his ideals as a 

XLVIII Literary Tastes and Labors 873-903 

Part of every night spent by Gibbons at home devoted to 
reading in his study when possible. — An English purist in 
style and preference. — Wide range of reading. — Diverted at 
times by novels. — Fondness for poetry. — Extensive scanning 
of newspapers and magazines. — His views on simplicity of 
literary style. — "The Faith of Our Fathers" developed from 
his experiences in North Carolina. — Its circulation probably 
greater than that of any other religious book after the Bible. 
— His surprise at its popularity. — "Our Christian Heritage" 
professedly non-sectarian. — Its purpose to defend fundamen- 
tal truths. — References in the book to current political and 
social questions. — "The Ambassador of Christ" the fruit of 
his zeal for training priests. — "Discourses and Sermons." — 
"A Retrospect of Fifty Years." 

XLIX Personality and Private Life 904-935 

Versatility of Cardinal Gibbons. — His remarkable vitality 
despite a tendency to some forms of physical weakness. — 
Simple life at the archiepiscopal residence. — Daily routine. — 
Personality shown in his correspondence. — Extensive benevo- 
lences kept secret even from his intimates. — Sometimes em- 
barrassed for lack of money despite large revenue from his 
books. — Refusal of personal gifts. — Incidents of his public 
audiences. — Extraordinarily large acquaintance. — Sparing in 
diet. — Three and a half to four hours daily spent in religious 
devotions. — Impressions of him as recorded by L'Abbe Klein. 
— New Year receptions. — Found "more of pain than pleasure" 
in public plaudits. — Subject of many articles in the press. 



L Social Habits — Friendships 936-946 

Cardinal Gibbons' remarkable social graces. — "I dine out be- 
cause Christ dined out." — Center of attention at social gather- 
ings. — His habit of leaving early in the evening. — Beloved by 
young people. — Abstemious at all times. — Friendships with 
Monsignor McManus, Michael Jenkins and Joseph Frieden- 
wald. — His grief at the death of Jenkins. — Happiness in 
ecclesiastical life placed above success that might have come 
to him in material affairs. — Formidable when aroused by 
danger to his greater purposes. 

LI Relations with Protestants 947-955 

Resolute avoidance of all acts and utterances that might imply 
intolerance. — Protestant ministers and laymen among his 
warmest personal friends. — Precedence accorded to him in 
gatherings attended by Protestant churchmen, although he 
never sought it. — His rule on such occasions. — Views on 
accepting an invitation to a civic meeting in a Methodist 
church. — Criticism of his attitude in the Congo controversy 
resented by Protestant ministers. — Public tributes to him by 
non-Catholics. — Acts of kindness and help to persons of 
other creeds. — His purpose to bestow the greatest service 
where the need was greatest. 

LII Health and Recreations 956-965 

Cardinal Gibbons "always at the work bench and too busy to 
be sick." — Work at high pressure in periods of impaired 
health. — Digestion his physical barometer. — Avoided medi- 
cine except as a last resort. — Organically sound and possessed 
of marvellous recuperative power. — Benefited by regular 
exercise in the open air. — Conversations on his health. — 
Strong eyesight even in age. — Periods of recuperation at the 
Shriver homes. — Visits to Spring Lake, N. J., and South- 
ampton, L. I. — Summary of his labors in his 78th year. — 
His opposition to the appointment of a coadjutor. — His life 
imperiled by a driving accident. 

LIII Anecdotes and Incidents 966-982 

The exceptionally large number of the anecdotes told of 
Cardinal Gibbons due chiefly to the strength and versatility 
of his personality. — His playfulness with children. — Moods 
with altar boys. — Incidents of his interest in waifs. — Forgives 
offenders at St. Mary's Industrial School. — Acts as Santa 
Claus at an orphan asylum. — Hears the confessions of an im- 
portunate husband and wife. — Awe inspired in a Maryland 
family by his presence as a guest. — Rejoinder to Senator 
Bayard on pulpit and political oratory. — Fondness for the 
hymn "Lead, Kindly Light." — Other anecdotes. 



LIV Elements of Greatness 983-1007 

Cardinal Gibbons often called great during his life time. — 
Elements of sublimity in his character. — Blended strength 
and simplicity. — Steadfastness and courage in the face of 
great obstacles. — Leo XIII, Gibbons and Manning the domi- 
nant figures in the Church during a critical period in world 
evolution. — Their liberal tendencies. — Gibbons' work in allay- 
ing intolerance concerning religion. — National gain through 
his victory for Americanism in the Church. — His help to the 
cause of labor a potent influence throughout the world. — 
Conspicuous services as a reformer and in many other direc- 
tions. — Manifestations of his powerful personality. 

LV Gifts as a Leader 100S-1023 

Cardinal Gibbons as a churchman. — The lawgiver of the 
Catholic Church in America through his wort in the guidance 
of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. — Permanent and 
fruitful character of the Council's decrees. — Qualities of 
statesmanship exercised by him within and without the 
Church. — Unique position as the mentor of his fellow 
countrymen. — His popularity as an author. — Faculties of 
intuitive perception. — Intellectual processes. — Remarkable ef- 
fects produced upon crowds and individuals by the dominant 
force of his character. 

LVI Last Illness and Death 1024-1046 

Many warnings to lessen his labors in advanced age are 
ignored. — Remarkable vitality after passing the age of 80 
years. — Monthly sermons not discontinued until pronounced 
signs of growing weakness appeared. — Reflections on his last 
birthday. — Collapse in church at Havre de Grace, Md., 
November 7, 1920. — Trip to Emmitsburg, Md., accompanied 
by further alarming symptoms. — Prostrated in bed at the 
Shriver home.— His last Christmas.— Sympathy from the 
Pope, President Wilson and others. — Carried back to the 
archiepiscopal house. — Gradual failure of vital powers. — 
Resignation in suffering.— Final messages.— Death on March 
24, 1921. , 

LVII The Nation's Homage . 1047-1057 

Tributes to Cardinal Gibbons in America and abroad at his 
death.— Expressions by the Pope, President Harding, ex- 
President Taft, Cardinal O'Connell and others.— Public 
honors in Maryland and Baltimore.— Praise from Protestant 
and Jewish ministers.— Catholic prelates mourn his joss as 
that of a great leader. — Editorials in newspapers estimating 
his services to religion, America and the world. 



LVIII Funeral of Cardinal Gibbons 1058-1068 

Throngs at the Baltimore Cathedral while the body lay in 
state. — Services held there during the week following his 
death. — The funeral. — National, state, municipal and foreign 
representatives present. — Great gathering of the Hierarchy. — 
Archbishop Glennon's sermon tracing Gibbons' power to quali- 
ties in his inner self. — His body placed in the crypt beneath 
the Cathedral with those of other Archbishops. — A considera- 
tion of the place which Cardinal Gibbons filled in the Church 
and the world. 

Bibliography 1069 

General Index ................. 1075 




The Archiepiscopal Residence, Baltimore 591 

Cardinal Gibbons lived in this house as Archbishop Spalding's 
secretary, 1865-68, and as Archbishop, 1877-1921. 

Cardinal Gibbons' Study 713 

The portrait above the desk is that of St. Philip Neri. 

Cardinal Gibbons Offering Prayer at the Presentation of a 
SwoRD to Admiral Dewey in Washington, October 3RD, 1899 . 791 
President McKinley and the Admiral are the other two 
figures shown. 

Facsimile of Cardinal Gibbons' Handwriting 888 

Extract from "Our Christian Heritage." 

Cardinal Gibbons Ready for a Walk 960 

He is shown seated with Bishop O'Connell, of Richmond, 
on the porch of the residence of B. Frank Shriver at Union 
Mills, Md. The photograph was taken in 1918. 

Cardinal Gibbons on His 85TH Birthday 834 

Photograph taken in the garden of the residence of T. Her- 
bert Shriver, Union Mills, Md. 

Cardinal Gibbons in the Last of Many National Ecclesi- 
astical Ceremonies over Which He Presided 1028 

This photograph was taken at the laying of the cornerstone 
of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the 
grounds of the Catholic University of America, Sept. 23, 
1920. (Copyright, Harris and Ewing.) 

Cardinal Gibbons as He Was Last Remembered 103 1 

From the portrait by Marie de Ford Keller, presented by 
the Cardinal to Miss Mary O. Shriver, Dec. 16th, 1920. 




Gibbons' prestige was nearing the pinnacle abroad as 
well as at home when the silver jubilee of his own epis- 
copacy was celebrated at the Baltimore Cathedral Oc- 
tober 18, 1893. The actual anniversary was August 16; 
but the celebration had been deferred in compliance with 
the wishes of a number of prelates living at a distance 
who desired to be present. 

In no diocese of the world, perhaps, were the clergy 
more warmly, in a personal sense, devoted to their ecclesi- 
astical superior than in Baltimore. A committee of 
priests took the arrangements in charge in June, and is- 
sued a circular letter announcing that a testimonial of 
their devotion would be presented to the Cardinal. In 
this circular they said : 

"By his wise and progressive principles he has raised 
the Church before the American public to a position of 
which we may be justly proud. In the administration 
of the archdiocese he has displayed all the characteristics 
of the Good Shepherd ; and he has ever been united to the 
clergy and his people by the closest bonds of devotion and 
love. To his priests he has been, indeed, the amiable and 
sympathetic elder brother, always ready to receive, to 
counsel, and to assist them in the great responsibilities of 
their vocation." 



Gibbons himself celebrated Mass on the day of the 
celebration, and Archbishop Corrigan preached in the 
presence of Archbishop Satolli and a large gathering of 
the Hierarchy. At the end of the sermon a letter from 
the Pope conveying his affectionate congratulations was 
read. In the same year Leo had enjoyed the extraordi- 
nary distinction of celebrating the golden jubilee of his 
own episcopate, and he expressed his fervent hope that 
the same privilege might be granted to Gibbons.^ Ac- 
companying the letter Leo sent as a gift a massive 
jeweled design bearing a profile miniature of the great 
bronze statue of St. Peter in Rome, representing him as 
seated upon a throne blessing the whole world. This 
gift was brought from Rome by the Rev. Frederick Z. 
Rooker, Vice-rector of the American College. 

The personal note predominated in the afternoon of 
the same day at a dinner at St. Mary's Seminary, at which 
the priests of the archdiocese presented an address to Gih-i 
bons. The venerable Mgr. McColgan, the Vicar Gen- 
eral, took the occasion to recall that a Protestant who 
had watched the future Cardinal as a young pastor going 
from house to house, visiting the poor and ministering to 
the sick, had predicted that he would some day become a 
great man. 

Gibbons replied in terms of affection, attributing the 
great growth of the Church in the diocese to the work 
of the clergy, among whom in all the years of his epis- 
copate he had not known a single case of insubordination. 
Addresses were made by Mgr. Nugent, of Liverpool, who 

* Letter of Leo XIII to Cardinal Gibbons, August 30, 1893; Cathedral 
Archives, Baltimore. 


had been sent to convey the congratulations of Cardinal 
Vaughan, and by Father Ring, who came as a representa- 
tive of Cardinal Logue. 

The celebration drew from Archbishop Ireland, at a 
vesper service in the Cathedral on that day, one of the 
most stirring sermons which ever came from the lips of 
that warrior prelate; he entitled it "The Church and the 
Age." He hailed Leo as the "Providential Pope" and 
Gibbons as the "Providential Archbishop." No one knew 
better than he what the leadership of Gibbons had meant 
to the Church in America. No one shared more fervently 
than he the primary aims that had inspired Gibbons to 
his greatest efforts. He said : 

"Be it my coveted privilege to honor a man among 
men. The record of the Cardinal Archbishop of Balti- 
more! I speak of it with pride and exultation; it is the 
record I should have traced for my ideal Bishop and 
leader of men in these solemn times through which the 
Church is passing." 

The Archbishop proceeded : 

"There is discord between the age and the Church. We 
recall the fact with sorrow. The interests of society and 
religion suffer where misunderstanding and separation 
exist. The fault lies with the age and with the Church, 
or rather, with statesmen of the age and statesmen of the 
Church. Age and Church, rightly apprehended, are in 
no manner at war. . . . 

"I indicate the opportunity for the great and singular 
churchman; his work is to bridge the deep valley sepa- 
rating the age from the Church. . . . What the Church 
at any time was, certain people hold she ever must be; 
they do her much harm, making her rigid and unbending. 


incapable of adapting herself to new and changing sur- 
roundings. The Church, created by Christ for all ages, 
lives in every age and puts on the dress of every one." 

The Archbishop turned to note the characteristics of 
the age. It was ambitious for knowledge. It was an age 
of liberty, civil and political, and of democracy. It was 
an era of social cravings for justice to all men. He found 
in this the best opportunity for Catholic sympathy and 
effort. He continued: 

"How oft in past years have I thanked God that in 
this latter quarter of the nineteenth century Cardinal 
Gibbons has been given to us as a primate, a leader, a 
Catholic of Catholics, an American of Americans, a 
Bishop of his age and of his country; he is to America 
what Leo is to all Christendom. Aye, far beyond Amer- 
ica does his influence go. Men are not confined by 
frontier lines, and Gibbons is European as Manning was 

"A particular mission is reserved to the American Car- 
dinal. The Church and the age fight their battles with 
especial intensity in America. America is watched. The 
prelate who in America is the representative of the union 
of Church and age is watched. His leadership guides 
the combatants the world over. The name of Cardinal 
Gibbons lights up the pages of nearly every European 
book which treats of modem social and political ques- 
tions. The ripplings of his influence cross the threshold 
of the Vatican. 

'The work of Cardinal Gibbons forms an epoch in the 
history of the Church in America. He has made known, 
as no one before him did, the Church to the people of 
America. He has demonstrated the fitness of the Church 
for America, the natural alliance existing between the 
Church and the freedom-giving democratic institutions 


of this country. Through his action the scales have fallen 
from the eyes of non-Catholics — prejudices have van- 
ished. He, the great churchman, is the great citizen; 
Church and country unite in him, and the magnetism of 
the union pervades the whole land, teaching laggard 
Catholics to love America, teaching well disposed non- 
Catholics to trust the Church. 

"How noble the mission which Heaven has assigned 
to him ; how well it has been followed out ! . . . He is 
large-minded. His vision can not be narrowed to a one- 
sided consideration of men or things. He is large- 
hearted. His sympathies are limited by the frontiers of 
humanity; careless of self, he gives his best activities to 
the good of others. He is ready for every noble work 
• — patriotic, intellectual, social, philanthropic, as well as 
religious; and in the prosecution of these he joins hands 
with the laborer and the capitalist, with the white man 
and the black man, with the Catholic, the Protestant and 
the Jew. He is brave. He has the courage to speak and 
to act in accordance with his convictions. . . . Cardinal 
Gibbons, the most outspoken of Catholics, the most loyal 
co-laborer of the Pope of Rome, is the American of 
Americans !" 

Archbishop Redwood, who had traveled half of the 
earth's circumference from his home in New Zealand, 
was the celebrant at the vesper service. 

The range of Gibbons had been so far outside his 
ecclesiastical duties in serving his fellow-men that it was 
felt that the celebration would be incomplete without a 
recognition of the civic status which he had attained in 
both the nation and the State. On the day following the 
services at the Cathedral, a banquet was held in his honor 
at the Catholic Club of Baltimore, which was attended 
by Vice-President Stevenson, Senator Gorman, of Mary- 


land, Mayor Latrobe, of Baltimore, and other men of 
prominence in public life. A letter from President Cleve- 
land conveying his felicitations was read, and a number 
of addresses from organizations in the diocese were 

Gibbons, when called upon to address the gathering, 
said that he was thankful for two things — that he had 
Christ for his instructor and guide, and that he had the 
privilege of being bom in and raised as a citizen of the 
United States, a citizen of Maryland, of Baltimore. In 
no country on earth had a difficult problem been better 
solved than in America — that of maintaining harmonious 
relations between Church and State. Here the Church 
and State ran in parallel lines and neither conflicted with 
the other. The Church upheld the State; religion edu- 
cated the State and proclaimed the sanctity of the laws. 
Religion taught the virtue of obedience and respect for 
civil laws by teaching that obedience to civil authorities 
was not servile homage but the homage of freemen to 
God Himself. The Cardinal proceeded: 

"For my part, I would be sorry to see the relations of 
Church and State any closer than they are at present ; for, 
if the civil authority built our churches or subsidized our 
clergy, they might want to have something to say as to 
the doctrines we teach, and we believe that the Gospel 
should be free. I thank God that we have religious lib- 

"Foreign governments, while recognizing the liberties 
we enjoy, do not recognize our strength. The first thing 
that strikes a foreigner on reaching our shores is the ab- 
sence of soldiers such as he is accustomed to see abroad; 
but we are strong in the intelligence of the people; we 


are strong in the patriotism that in a few hours would 
transform every citizen into a brave and valiant soldier. 
"Another mistake is made in supposing that, because 
there is no union here between Church and State, we are 
not a religious people. I maintain that no country in the 
world has a stronger religious basis than the United 
States. Our common law is taken from the common law 
of England, which is thoroughly permeated with the 
spirit of Christianity. Where is the Christian Sabbath 
better observed than here*? The proceedings of the Na- 
tional and State legislatures are opened with prayer; and 
still another evidence of our respect and regard for re- 
ligion is the fact of our setting apart a day in each year 
for special thanksgiving, the President of the United 
States and the Governors of States calling upon the peo- 
ple, by proclamation, to return thanks for the blessings 
they have enjoyed." 

Gibbons closed by expressing the fervent hope that re- 
ligion and patriotism might ever characterize the Ameri- 
can people." 

For weeks delegations from the diocese continued to 
present gifts and addresses to Gibbons at his residence. 
In November a series of public celebrations in honor of 
the jubilee was held in Washington, where next to his 
own Baltimore he was better known personally to large 
numbers of people than in any other city. 

The death of Cardinal Manning January 12, 1892, re- 
moved one of three men who more than any others had 
been influential in guiding the external policies of the 
Church in the direction of liberalism in the last part of 
the nineteenth century; the others were Leo XIII and 
Gibbons. Manning's death profoundly affected the 

'Catholic Mirror, October 21, 1893. 


Baltimore Cardinal, who had found in him, next to Leo, 
his principal support in striving for the goals which they 
all wished to reach. Manning was a warm admirer of 
Gibbons and the American Cardinal neglected no oppor- 
tunity to express his high esteem for his English col- 
league. He believed that, had Manning remained in the 
Church of England, he would have been elevated to the 
See of Canterbury; or, had his activities been exercised in 
secular fields, he might have been a Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer as distinguished as Gladstone, a philanthropist 
as great as Wilberforce, or a temperance apostle as suc- 
cessful as Father Mathew. 

Both of these Cardinals were in thorough sympathy 
with the wants and legitimate aspirations of men, espe- 
cially those upon whom conditions of poverty and social 
injustice weighed. They went outside the arena of the- 
ology to grapple with social questions, believing that re- 
ligion impelled them to open the hearts of men to its 
benign influences by displaying the Church as the cham- 
pion of justice to all. 

It was fortunate that the influence of Gibbons and 
Manning was exercised in English speaking countries, 
which are naturally ready to respond to liberal ideas. 
Sustained as they were by Leo, reenforced by his brilliant 
Secretary of State, Rampolla, the fruits of their work, 
in some important particulars, extended over the whole 
civilized world. 

There were traits which these men seemed to share 
almost equally. All of them possessed a boldness of 
mental conception which scarcely fell short of prophecy. 
They seemed at times to live in years to come more than 


in the present, and their thoughts were sometimes incom- 
prehensible to men whose views and outlook were cir- 
cumscribed by conditions immediately surrounding them. 

In the case of Gibbons it was noticeable that not a few 
of his judgments which appeared to be defective, even to 
the point of exciting grave warnings on the part of others, 
were sustained by subsequent developments which those 
who warned him had not foreseen. Persons who were in 
intimate touch with him and accustomed to be consulted 
about his decisions, or to share in their execution, finally 
came to repose in him a confidence in which they were 
disposed to silence totally their own judgment. They 
accepted his leadership as so far above their own stand- 
ards that they did not question it. In his long life it was 
possible to get a sweeping perspective of what he sought 
to do and what he accomplished. He lived to see the 
fruition of every one of his great aims ; and some advisers 
who had been disposed to urge him to beware, especially 
when his boldness seemed to discard prudence, were con- 
founded in judgment. 

Leo and Manning had complete confidence in Gibbons 
based on the natural parallel that always seemed to exist 
between their ideas. All of them were deep students of 
theology and philosophy, the fruits of which were espe- 
cially evident in the great encyclicals of Leo, which re- 
mained as an invaluable guide for the Church after his 
time ; but their creed was action and service, rather than 
philosophy or logic. They felt that men must be helped 
by acts rather than thoughts. It was not as useful in 
their eyes to reveal some new process of the mind as to 
initiate some new labor which assuaged the ills of hu- 


manity. Religion was for all of them the background of 
every action, but they preferred to exemplify religion 
through its fruits, rather than in the stages in which those 
fruits were produced. 

These three were ready to anticipate and interpret the 
great economic changes in their time. They saw that the 
progress of industry and invention in the nineteenth cen- 
tury had given a new future to society. Combined with 
this, either as a forerunner or as an expression of it, was 
the development of free political institutions. They did 
not wish the captains of religion to linger in an atmo- 
sphere of the eighteenth century, when the atmosphere 
of the political and the material world upon which their 
efforts were bestowed had changed so greatly. They were 
alike in holding firmly the foundations of the faith, but 
they gave it a new meaning in the eyes of new generations 
which could not see the vista as their fathers had seen it. 

Gibbons was greatly moved by the loss of Manning's 
services to the Church, to the world and to himself; but 
the spirit of Manning lived in Leo and the work could go 
on. Thoughts such as these men planted could not perish. 
They had begun too much to have it undone by others. 


The cause of international peace was especially dear 
to the heart of Gibbons. He was not content to speak 
and write for it, or, in fact, for any cause that appealed 
to him with exceptional force ; he wished to translate all 
of his stronger sentiments into action, for that was the 
code of his life. Generalities never satisfied him, nor easy 
conceptions of duty. His conscience could not be put at 
rest by signing his name to a document and leaving to 
others the work of giving it effectiveness. 

Although he was essentially a combatant all his life, 
he was a combatant in the fields of truth and reason. 
Decisions by physical force of controversies between na- 
tions appalled him. War he regarded as a last resort for 
defense, or for preventing a greater evil. In his own 
country his wish was to see all vital questions decided 
by the ballot; and among nations he was an earnest 
worker for arbitration. 

When the United States and Great Britain came peril- 
ously near an irreconcilable difference of view over the 
Venezuela boundary dispute in 1895, Gibbons sustained 
President Cleveland in insisting upon arbitration of the 
boundary. He wrote a letter to the President commend- 



ing his stand and the result of it after a settlement had 
been effected. The letter was: 

"Cardinal's Residence, 

"408 N. Charles St., 


"November 13, 1896. 
"My dear Mr. President: 

"Allow me to congratulate you on the honorable and 
happy termination of the Venezuelan difficulty. The 
opportuneness and wisdom of your message are now rec- 
ognized and applauded, though at the time of its publi- 
cation it raised a storm. 

"The amicable adjustment of this international ques- 
tion is a fitting crown to your second term of administra- 

"Faithfully yrs. 

"J. Card. Gibbons." 
"Grover Cleveland, 

''President of the United States." 

When Great Britain accepted arbitration. Gibbons 
felt that the conspicuous illustration of the benefits of 
reason rather than war in adjusting international con- 
troversies could not fail of effect upon the world at 
large. His chief concern was as to whether the effect 
would be more than merely temporary; and when the 
movement for a permanent treaty of arbitration between 
the United States and Great Britain was started, follow- 
ing the adjustment of the Venezuela difference, he wel- 
comed the opportunity to lend it his heartiest support. 

On Easter Sunday, 1896, he joined Cardinals Logue, 
of Ireland, and Vaughan, of England, the representatives 


of the English speaking peoples in the Sacred College, in 
an appeal in behalf of a permanent tribunal of arbitra- 
tion. He regretted that the United States government 
was not then ready to take a pronounced position in 
favor of a permanent international court ; but the appeal 
could not be lost upon the statesmen of the world, be- 
cause it had the effect of arraying English speaking 
Catholics on the side of this great and humane advance. 
The text * of the appeal was : 

^'An appeal by the American^ Irish and English Car- 
dinals in behalf of a permanent tribunal of arbitration. 

"We, the undersigned Cardinals, representatives of the 
Catholic Church in our respective countries, invite all 
who hear our voices to cooperate in the formation of a 
public opinion which shall demand the establishment of 
a permanent tribunal of arbitration as a rational sub- 
stitute among the English-speaking races for a resort to 
the bloody arbitration of war. 

"We are well aware that such a project is beset with 
practical difficulties. We believe that they will not prove 
to be insuperable if the desire to overcome them be genu- 
ine and general. Such a court existed for centuries when 
the nations of Christendom were united in one faith. 
And have we not seen nations appeal to that same court 
for its judgment in our own day*? 

"The establishment of a permanent tribunal, com- 
posed, maybe, of trusted representatives of each sover- 
eign nation, with power to nominate judges and umpires, 
according to the nature of the differences that arise, and 
a common acceptance of general principles defining and 
limiting the jurisdiction and subject-matter of such a 
tribunal, would create new guarantees of peace that could 
not fail to influence the whole of Christendom. 

' Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


"Such an international court of arbitration would 
form a second line of defence, to be called into requisition 
only after the ordinary resources of diplomacy had been 
exhausted. It would, at least, postpone the outbreak of 
hostilities until reason and common sense had formally 
pronounced their last word. 

"This is a matter of which the constitution and pro- 
cedure must be settled by governments. But as govern- 
ments are becoming more and more identified with the as- 
pirations and moulded by the desires of the people, an 
appeal in the first instance must be addressed to the peo- 

"We do not hesitate on our part to lift up our united 
voices and proclaim to all who are accustomed to hearken 
to our counsels that it is a sign of a Divine influence at 
work in their midst when nation shall not lift up sword 
against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more 
in war, (Isaiah, ii, 4,) for it was written for a future 
time: 'Come ye and behold the work of the Lord, what 
wonders He hath done upon the earth, making wars to 
cease even to the end of the earth.' (Psalms, xvi, 9.) 

"Others may base their appeal upon motives which 
touch your worldly interests, your prosperity, your world- 
wide influence and authority in the affairs of men. The 
Catholic Church recognizes the legitimate force of such 
motives in the natural order and blesses whatever tends 
to the real progress and elevation of the race. 

"But our main ground of appeal rests upon the known 
character and will of the Prince of Peace, the Living 
Founder, the Divine Head of Christendom. It was He 
who declared that love for the brotherhood is a second 
commandment to the people. 'Blessed,' said He, 'are the 
peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of 
God.' (Matt, v, 9.) 

"We therefore earnestly invite all to unite with us in 
pressing their convictions and desires upon their respective 


governments by means of petitions and such other meas- 
ures as are constitutional. 

"James Cardinal Gibbons, 

"Archbishop of Baltimore. 
"Michael Cardinal Logue, 
"Archbishop of Armagh, 
"Primate of All Ireland. 
"Herbert Cardinal Vaughan, 
"Archbishop of Westminster." 

In a sermon on international peace at the Baltimore 
Cathedral Gibbons voiced the faith that was in him, 
saying : 

"Christ's mission on earth was to establish a triple 
peace in the hearts of men — peace with God by the ob- 
servance of his commandments; peace with our fellow 
men by the practise of justice and charity; and peace 
within our own breasts by keeping our passions subject to 
reason and our reason in harmony with the Divine Law." 

He proceeded to say that arbitration in the settlement 
of international disputes was a system which "while pro- 
tecting the rights of the weak will not wound or humiliate 
the national pride of the strong, since it does not at- 
tempt to trench on the sovereignty or autonomy of the 
mightier power." He added : 

"Let us cherish the hope that the day is not far off 
when the reign of the Prince of Peace shall be firmly 
established on the earth and the spirit of the gospel will 
so far sway the minds and hearts of rulers and cabinets 
that international disputes will be decided not by stand- 
ing armies but by permanent courts of arbitration — when 
they will be settled not on the battlefield but in the halls 
of conciliation." 


Scarcely two years passed before he was put to the test 
to defend his principles in another period of stress. No 
American felt more acutely than he, when the battleship 
Maine was blown up in Havana harbor February 15, 
1898, that in all probability it would mean a war be- 
tween his country and Spain. He lost no time in taking 
a positive stand against such a war, except as a last resort 
from which there could be no honorable escape. 

For the good name of humanity, he hoped and believed 
that the explosion was caused by an accident, and in that 
case Spain could not be held responsible for it; neither, 
he declared, was Spain to blame if a Cuban had caused 
the fearful loss of life in order to embroil the United 
States in war with Spain. Even if some fanatical Span- 
iard had perpetrated the crime, he could see no necessity 
for war. Active hostilities could only be warranted, he 
maintained, if evidence could be produced that the Span- 
ish government had connived at the explosion; but he 
refused to believe, and held that no sane man could be- 
lieve, that a chivalric Christian nation would be guilty 
of such inhumanity. 

When the United States government appointed a com- 
mission to investigate the cause of the disaster, he pub- 
licly advised that the people should await the verdict 
calmly and dispassionately and should not anticipate it. 
In this the ground which he took was the same as that 
of the President and the other principal officials who 
exercised authority in America, for all of them felt that 
it was a time for the utmost moderation by those directly 
responsible for the outcome of the crisis.^ 

'Lodge, The War luith Spain, p. 29. 


The marked superiority of the military resources of 
America over those of Spain was to Gibbons an addi- 
tional reason for moderation. He felt, and frequently 
expressed the thought both then and on other occasions, 
that the record of America in the family of nations was, 
on the whole, a record of magnanimity and justice. The 
unequal conflict which he foresaw as probable appeared 
to him to mean merely a waste of life. He felt that all 
the important results which would flow from it could be 
accomplished by peaceful means. 

Throughout the trying period while the American in- 
quiry on the Maine explosion was in progress he upheld 
the conduct of the authorities as worthy of all praise. A 
solemn requiem Mass for the officers and sailors who 
had lost their lives in the explosion was offered by 
his direction in the Baltimore Cathedral on February 28. 
Gibbons preached and expressed the opinion that it was 
out of the question to believe that Spain was responsible 
for the disaster. He said: 

"We do not realize how ardently we love our country 
until some crisis occurs which awakens our devotion to 
her and arouses our admiration and gratitude for those 
who have died in her service. Such a crisis has quite 
recently occurred; for we have assembled to assist at the 
holy sacrifice offered up for the souls of the brave officers 
and men who have lost their lives at the post of duty. 
Too much praise can not be bestowed on the President, 
his Cabinet, and particularly on the Secretary of the 
Navy and his able assistants, as well as on the Houses of 
Congress, for the calmness and tranquillity, the self-con- 
trol and the self-possession which they have exhibited 
during the fearful ordeal through which the country has 


been passing in the last few days. It needed only a spark 
to kindle a great conflagration, and the patient and dig- 
nified bearing of the Executive and Legislative bodies is 
all the more commendable in view of the mischievous 
and intemperate utterances of some sensational papers. 

"This nation is too brave, too strong and too just to 
engage in an unrighteous or precipitate war. Let us re- 
member that the eyes of the world are upon us, whose 
judgment we can not despise, and that we will gain more 
applause and credit for ourselves by calm deliberation 
than by recourse to arms. 'Thrice is he armed who hath 
his quarrel just.' " 

He gave his full support to a movement which was 
started in Baltimore to contribute to a fund for a memo- 
rial to the Maine's dead. When a meeting was held at the 
City Hall to arrange a public demonstration in aid of the 
fund, he accepted an invitation to act as a member of the 
committee in charge of it. 

On Palm Sunday, April 3, when sermons were deliv- 
ered throughout the country by ministers of all denomi- 
nations urging the people to be calm, Gibbons again oc- 
cupied the pulpit of the Cathedral, joining in the na- 
tional movement to invoke the principles of religion in 
the deliberations upon the grave decision that was then 
soon to be made. He said : 

"On this day when we commemorate the entrance of 
the Lord of Peace into Jerusalem, let us implore Him 
that He will so guide the minds and hearts of the Presi- 
dent and members of Congress ; that He will so direct the 
counsels of Spain ; that He may inspire both nations with 
a happy solution of the problem which confronts us, a 
solution honorable to both nations, so that the clouds of 


war may be dispelled and the blessings of peace may be 

Regarding the Pope as the Vicar on earth of the Prince 
of Peace, he rejoiced when Cardinal Rampolla, acting 
in behalf of Leo XIII, formally offered mediation April 
2.^ In America, Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ire- 
land were especially active in public support of this plan. 
Spain accepted the offer, replying to Rampolla as fol- 

"The moment the United States Government is dis- 
posed to accept the aid of the Pope, the Queen of Spain 
and her Government will gladly accept his mediation; 
and in order to facilitate the high mission of peace and 
concord which his Holiness is attempting, promise fur- 
ther to accept the proposal that the Holy Father shall 
formulate a suspension of hostilities ; informing his Holi- 
ness that, for the honor of Spain, it is proper that a truce 
should be accompanied by the retirement of the Ameri- 
can squadron from the waters of the Antilles, in order 
that the North American Republic may also show its 
purpose not to support, voluntarily or involuntarily, the 
insurrection in Cuba." 

In the United States the war feeling had become so 
inflamed that mediation proved to be impossible. Gib- 
bons was not surprised when, in the excited temper of the 
time, the Papal action was assailed in some quarters as 
an attempt at interference. When the situation was 
near the point of greatest tension, the Spanish Minister 
of Foreign Affairs made the unfortunate statement that 
Papal mediation came at the suggestion of President 

'Spanish Diplomatic Correspondence and Documents, 1896-1900. 


McKinley, and this further ruffled the waves of popular 
excitement. Mediation, of course, was not to be con- 
founded with intervention, and the Pope never went fur- 
ther than to convey to the two powers, in an informal 
manner, his earnest hope that war might be averted, plac- 
ing his help and influence at the service of the two gov- 
ernments impartially. 

Gibbons hoped that the Cuban insurgents could be per- 
suaded to agree to an armistice, in order that steps for 
mediation might be taken. Archbishop Ireland, with the 
full sympathy of the Cardinal, went to Washington and 
used his efforts to induce the American government to 
negotiate with the insurgents for that purpose. Nothing 
which could be done served to lessen the force of the con- 
stantly increasing demand in America for war, for in the 
minds of the people there was a fixed conviction that they 
had been the victims of an atrocious national insult. 
Ireland's attempt to prepare the ground for formal medi- 
ation failed, and, the consent of both powers being unob- 
tainable, the Pope was unable to proceed beyond the 
presentation of his offer.* 

Representatives of Great Britain, France, Germany, 
Austria and Russia supported at Madrid, on April 8, the 
Papal suggestion of an immediate armistice in Cuba. 
Two days before, the representatives of the same powers 
in Washington had made a united appeal for peace to 
President McKinley. Spain was so desirous of averting 
war that in her reply to these powers, April 9, she went 

* Benton, International Law and Diplomacy of the Spanish-American 
fVar, pp. 86-89. 


so far as to announce a suspension of hostilities against 
the insurgents. This concession was too late to be ef- 

Gibbons shared the disappointment of Archbishop Ire- 
land, and of many other peace-loving Americans, at the 
failure of the efforts to avert war. He believed that had 
the United States agreed to mediation there would have 
been little doubt that peace could have been secured on 
the basis of Cuban independence, and subsequent evi- 
dence showed that his view was well founded. The 
situation was complicated by the fact that the passions 
aroused by the destruction of the Maine had stirred a 
popular feeling in the United States for which there was 
no offsetting influence in Spain; and although Min- 
ister Woodford, then the representative of the United 
States at Madrid, subsequently declared that President 
McKinley desired to avert war, and other testimony on 
this point was overwhelming, the tide was too strong to 
be stemmed at Washington.^ 

Gibbons was firmly convinced that the majority of the 
conservative people of the United States did not desire 
war. He had seen a new generation grow up since the 
horrors of the great civil conflict, which knew nothing 
of the miseries that follow in the wake of such convul- 
sions; and he attributed the inflammable state of public 
opinion chiefly to the young and the adventurous. Al- 
though his hope of peace waned, he did not give up his 
efforts until America had embarked definitely upon the 

' Morris, The War with Spain, pp. 124, 125. 


From the moment when the final decision was made 
in Washington he threw in his lot unreservedly with his 
country. In a public address,^ June 13, he said: 

"We must love our country next to God, and be ready 
to die for it if necessary. We must loyally and firmly 
sustain our laws and our governing powers. There was a 
time, before the war began, when every citizen had the 
right to express his views upon the policy of the nation; 
but after Congress has spoken the words that bring us 
to war, it is our duty now to work with and for our coun- 
try, and by prayer for and full sympathy with those in 
authority to help bring the conflict to a speedy and suc- 
cessful conclusion." 

As masses of men were hastily called from civil life 
for service in the army and navy, Gibbons, as a minister 
of religion, devoted his utmost efforts toward providing 
good influences for them. In a visit to President Mc- 
Kinley at Washington, he urgently recommended that 
additional Catholic chaplains be assigned to duty with the 
forces on land and sea, so that they might be more nearly 
in proportion to the number of Catholics in the service. 
He pointed out to the President that although a great 
number of Catholics were wearing the uniform of their 
country, only a few chaplains of their own faith were 
available to protect their spiritual welfare. McKinley, 
like his recent predecessors, knew Gibbons well and 
highly esteemed him. He listened sympathetically to the 
plea for additional chaplains and readily agreed that they 
should be provided, accepting the recommendations of 
Gibbons and other prelates as to their qualifications. 

*At the commencement of Loyola College in Baltimore. 


Gibbons hoped that the conflict would be at least short, 
as the result seemed to him to be never in doubt. He 
was engaged in diocesan work in Western Maryland when 
the battle of July 3 resulted in the utter overthrow of the 
fleet of the Spanish admiral, Cervera, for whose high 
character and courage he shared the genuine respect which 
Americans generally felt. He rejoiced at the chivalrous 
feeling which prompted the abundant courtesies shown 
to Cervera when the defeated admiral was conveyed as a 
prisoner to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and took 
an early opportunity of visiting him there. The admiral 
freely expressed to Gibbons his satisfaction with his 
treatment by his American captors. Upon his release, 
before starting for his home in Spain, he called upon the 
Cardinal in Baltimore and bade him farewell. 

Gibbons' whole aim was cooperation with the Ameri- 
can authorities until the conflict was ended. He took 
prompt action in accordance with the proclamation of 
President McKinley in July inviting the people of the 
nation to offer thanks for the American victories. A cir- 
cular letter "^ to the clergy which he prepared was read 
in all the churches of the Baltimore archdiocese on Sun- 
day, July 17, in which he said: 

"While the President naturally rejoices in the extra- 
ordinary achievements of our naval forces, he is far from 
indulging in a tone of vain complacency and passionate 
exultation. Filled with a profound sense of his responsi- 
bilities as the chief magistrate of a great nation, and in 
solemn language worthy of the occasion, he depicts the 
horrors of war with its long train of suffering, disease and 

* Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


death, and he asks us to implore the Lord of Hosts, who 
holds in His hand the destinies of nations and of men, to 
restore to our beloved country the blessings of peace. In 
compliance with the President's proclamation, you will 
request your congregation to unite with you in thanking 
Almighty God for the victories He has vouchsafed to us ; 
in beseeching Him to protect our brave soldiers and 
sailors from the dangers of disease and death which sur- 
round them; to lead the conflict in which they are en- 
gaged to a speedy and happy issue and bring back to us 
once more the inestimable blessings of enduring peace at 
home and abroad. You will also exhort your congrega- 
tion to pray for those brave men who have sacrificed their 
lives in their country's cause." 

When more than one hundred members of a Mary- 
land regiment were brought back from the front to a 
hospital in Baltimore, Gibbons hastened to visit them, 
shaking hands with and speaking a few kindly words to 

The perilous situation of the priests in the Spanish 
colonies where the war was in progress moved his sym- 
pathy. He wrote in his journal: 

"Aug. 18. Received the following cablegram: 
'Hong Kong, Aug. 18, 1898. Use influence release one 
hundred priests arrested by insurgents at Cavite. 
PiAzzoLi.' Mgr. Piazzoli is Vicar Apostolic of Hong 

"Aug. 21. Sent him the following answer : 'President 
instructs (General) Merritt to protect lives and property 
of priests.' On receiving the dispatch I communicated 
with the President through Archbishop Ireland, who was 
in Washington. The President informed his Grace that 
General Merritt, commander at Manila, had instructions 


to protect the lives and property of all, and to have no 
dealings with Aguinaldo, the rebel leader. Had a con- 
ference with Archbishop Ireland and the Apostolic Dele- 
gate. The latter came with a letter from Cardinal Ram- 
poUa, who requested the Delegate to confer with me re- 
garding the Cuban and Philippine situation in the inter- 
ests of religion. The Delegate sent a full account of 
transactions to Cardinal Rampolla, stating what we have 
done and hope to do in the future." 

Secretary Alger, of the War Department, exerted his 
influence to prevent persecution of the clergy in the 
Philippines in the period following the cessation of active 
hostilities with Spain. Gibbons wrote him a letter of 
thanks after one case of his intervention, in which he said 
that the Secretary's conduct "merits the lasting gratitude 
of the suffering clergy in the Philippines." 

Gibbons' chief role, so far as the Spanish-American 
War period was concerned, began after the few months 
of fighting had ceased. It was in a sequel of the war that 
he found his main opportunity to serve both Church and 
country and the service that he gave was among the 
most important which he ever contributed to either. Dur- 
ing the actual clash at arms he could only devote his 
labors as a minister of religion to the welfare and spiritual 
care of the soldiers and sailors, and as a citizen to sup- 
porting the national authorities by word, deed and ex- 
ample to the utmost of his power. But with the truce and 
the preparations for negotiating a treaty of peace the 
question of whether millions of Catholics in the islands 
where the rule of Spain had been overthrown were to be 
transferred to American sovereignty developed as the 
principal problem of the country. Were the Philippines 


to be held indefinitely and, if so, under what status; and 
what was to be the fate of Porto Rico? 

McKinley was doubtful when the future of these 
islands, then fully occupied by American troops, came 
to be decided ; and he took counsel with the wisest whom 
he could consult upon a question of so much moment. A 
summons sent to Baltimore brought Gibbons to the White 
House for consultation but left him in ignorance of the 
subject. This, in itself, did not surprise him, for he had 
been in touch with McKinley rather frequently and 
knew that there were many pending matters regarding 
which the President would desire his help. 

Arriving at the White House he was soon ushered in to 
the presence of McKinley, who, as usual, greeted him 
with marked cordiality. After only a few words had 
been exchanged the President suddenly revealed the rea- 
son of the summons by asking Gibbons directly for his 
opinion as to whether it would be best for the United 
States to retain the Philippines. 

The Cardinal was startled. He had positive views 
on the subject but had been especially solicitous to keep 
them in the background, avoiding participation in the 
political solution of the problem, avoiding above all else 
hampering the civil authorities in any way in dealing 
with weighty questions regarding which they must take 
the responsibility before the country and the world. 

He felt that the Catholic religion was safer under the 
American flag than anywhere else. The impartial but 
full protection of that flag was the best shield for the 
Church's spiritual mission. She was free in America, as 
the people were free. None dared interfere, none in au- 


thority thought of interfering, in the internal affairs of 
the Church, directly or remotely. Spoliation, to which 
the Church in Europe was not a stranger, then or since, 
was undreamed of where the Stars and Stripes stood as 
the symbol of guardianship for religion and order. 

But Gibbons had not wished to see America become a 
colonial power and, more than that, he had not wished 
to see her take lands and peoples by force. He wished 
her to be an exemplar to the world of what other nations 
had failed to be in this respect. The example of liberty 
and justice which, in his view, the main outlines of her 
history presented, was more to her, more to civilization, 
than any act of aggression or force, no matter how suc- 
cessful. These were the thoughts which sped through 
his brain when McKinley startled him with the direct 
question as to his views on the retention of the Philip- 

For all his desire to be aloof from the Philippine ques- 
tion, he felt that he would be wanting in patriotism as 
well as frankness and fairness to the President if he failed 
to respond. McKinley had the clear right to ask for 
advice from any citizen, and it was a citizen's duty to 
give that advice with an eye single to the truth. Gib- 
bons' answer to the question as to whether the Philip- 
pines ought to be retained was: 

"Mr. President, it would be a good thing for the Cath- 
olic Church but, I fear, a bad one for the United States." 

McKinley's ultimate course was determined by exi- 
gencies of a political and international nature. If all the 
views which he received in his consultations on the settle- 
ment of the war had been as genuine as those of his 


friend, the Prince of the Catholic Church in America, 
many stumbling blocks would have been removed from 
his difficult path of duty in the years just preceding his 
assassination in office. 

The Philippines were retained, but the peace which 
ensued was, so far as they were concerned, only a peace 
on paper. In the insurrection against the American au- 
thorities which burst out, force of arms was, indeed, suf- 
ficient to crush one body of native troops after another 
as they gave organized resistance to the new authority 
dominant in the islands; but it was not sufficient to sup- 
press or even to lessen the main cause of disaffection 
which, as was soon evident, threatened to keep alive for 
an indefinite time a smoldering fire of hostility, which 
would inevitably increase to a blaze periodically de- 
spite the utmost measures which the American authorities 
were able to take. 

This cause was the friar land question — a special prob- 
lem of the Philippines and essentially a political one in 
1898. It was by no means complicated with any desire 
to throw off allegiance to the Church, which had carried 
the light of Christianity to the Filipinos centuries before. 
By means of almost incredible sacrifices on the part of 
Spanish missionaries, the natives of those islands had be- 
come the only Christian people in all Eastern Asia and the 
territories adjacent. With religion had come the spirit 
of civilization among the previously barbarous tribes. 
The Church had been the nursing mother of the Philip- 
pine people and they knew it. 

In time, by a process which appears to have been in- 
evitable in the special conditions that accompanied the 


reclamation of the Philippines from savagery, the mem- 
bers of the religious orders had come to absorb many of 
the functions of government.^ In the Island of Luzon 
and to some extent in other parts of the archipelago the 
friars were ardent Spaniards as well as ardent priests. 
They became inspectors of the primary schools and presi- 
dents of the boards of health, prisons and charities; were 
in charge of the collection of taxes; acted as recruiting 
officers for the Spanish army; attended municipal elec- 
tions and council meetings, audited municipal accounts 
and passed upon budgets. While the Spanish officials 
in the islands were few in number and were continually 
changed, the friars resided permanently in the country, 
identifying themselves completely with the people. As 
was reported by the Taft Commission: 

"The truth is that the whole government of Spain in 
these islands rested on the friars. . . . Once settled in a 
territory, a priest usually continued there until super- 
annuation. He was, therefore, a constant political factor 
for a generation. The same was true of the Archbishops 
and the Bishops. . . . The friars were exempt from trial 
for offenses, except the most heinous, in the ordinary civil 
courts of the islands, under the Spanish rule." 

Through their permanent residence, the superior de- 
velopment and cultivation of their lands, their habits of 
personal frugality and the accretion of gifts and bequests 
from the pious, the friars came to be the legal possessors 
of the largest proportion of the lucrative agricultural 
property in the Philippines. In the Aguinaldo revolution 
native political leaders not only sought to seize their 

' Atkinson, The Philippine Islands, p. 320 et seq. 


lands but also drove many of them from the islands as 
refugees. With the gradual restoration of peace and the 
establishment of American authority in one district after 
another, they began to return. 

The transfer of the islands to American rule resulted 
at once in depriving them of their civil functions; but it 
was incumbent upon the United States to protect them 
in the ownership of their lands and it became apparent 
that there could be no permanent peace in the Philippines 
unless those lands were acquired for wide distribution 
under the auspices of the new government. 

Negotiations with the friars were begun and proceeded 
for months while new revolts were threatened. There 
was a wide divergence as to the amount to be paid for 
the immensely rich tracts of which they were the owners 
and as to the terms under which the transfer would be 

President Roosevelt, strongly convinced that the pur- 
chase of the friar lands was the one thing needed to bring 
peace in the Philippines, strove to the utmost of his 
ability to bring about an accommodation of terms which 
would make a solution possible. One failure after an- 
other confronted him. 

When a complete impasse had been reached and Roose- 
velt was at his wits' end regarding the next step to be 
taken, Cardinal Gibbons, whom he had known well be- 
fore he became President and whom he, like McKinley, 
had been accustomed to consult on problems growing out 
of the war, visited him one day at the White House. The 
substance of their conversation, after the exchange of 
personal compliments, was: 


Gibbons. — I observe, Mr. President, that you are de- 
sirous of obtaining an agreement for the settlement of 
the friar land question in the Philippines. 

Roosevelt. — Your Eminence, that is the greatest dif- 
ficulty that I am having. It is the one problem which at 
present completely baffles me. I know that there must 
be a settlement in order to bring about permanent peace 
in the Islands and have tried my best to bring about a 
settlement. Mr. Taft ^ has also done his utmost, and we 
are both powerless. 

Gibbons. — On what terms do you wish to make a set- 
tlement, Mr. President 9 

Roosevelt. — The main question is, of course, the price 
to be paid. If we can arrange that I believe that other 
things can be adjusted. 

Gibbons. — Would you be disposed to tell me of your 
terms, both as to price and other general conditions^ 

Roosevelt. — Oh, yes. The utmost which it seems 
possible to obtain the consent of Congress to paying for 
these lands is about $7,000,000. We wish to resell the 
lands to other purchasers in comparatively small holdings, 
so that the friars will no longer be a factor in the eco- 
nomic situation in the Philippines. 

Gibbons. — I will undertake, Mr. President, to obtain 
a settlement for you on the terms which you state. I 
have no suggestion of my own on the subject. 

Steps to give effectiveness to Gibbons' undertaking 
were in progress almost immediately. Roosevelt sent 
Taft to Rome to negotiate for a complete settlement after 
Taft had conferred with Gibbons in Baltimore. The 
negotiations in Rome formed a precedent for the Ameri- 
can Government, which had not for a long time found it 
necessary to deal directly with the Papacy. Final accord 

' Then civil governor of the Philippines. 


upon every detail of the problem was arranged upon the 
terms laid down by Mr. Roosevelt. 

With the dispersal of ownership of the friar lands, the 
way was open for a permanent American policy of pre- 
paring the Filipinos for the gradual assumption of the 
functions of self government. A sudden and mysterious 
force had intervened in the land question of which the 
public did not know, for neither Gibbons nor Roosevelt, 
naturally, could disclose it at the time. It was the force 
of Gibbons. For the Cardinal's services in this, one of 
the most perplexing obstacles which Roosevelt encoun- 
tered while serving as President, he cherished to his 
death unfailing gratitude and deep affection. 

Gibbons devoted himself with energy to the readjust- 
ment of the general conditions under which the Church 
existed in the Philippines, Cuba and Porto Rico. This 
was his especial mission when he paid a visit to Rome 
in the spring of 1901. Before his departure he sum- 
moned to Baltimore Archbishops Ireland, Williams and 
Kain, whom he consulted as to his program. 

He arrived in Rome May 22, having been preceded 
only a few days by his warm friend. Archbishop Chapelle, 
an American prelate who had been appointed Papal Dele- 
gate to the Philippines, and Mgr. Nozaleda, Archbishop 
of Manila. Taking up his residence at the Procura of 
St. Sulpice, he was soon engrossed in a series of consul- 
tations with Leo XIII and other high authorities of the 
Church. Gibbons was rejoiced to find Leo, at ninety- two, 
fully equal to facing every detail of the problems which 
had to be settled and receptive to his own views. The 
Pope's memory for details continued to be marvelous. 


Gibbons had informed him fully by letter of general con- 
ditions in the United States and in the recently trans- 
ferred Spanish islands and of the difficulties which had 
to be met. 

The Pope was not only keenly alert as to ecclesiastical 
conditions with which it was necessary to deal, but as to 
the political and economic aspects of the new situation. 
He told Gibbons, as he always did when the American 
Cardinal visited him in Rome, of the especial love for 
the American people of which he had given abundant evi- 
dence, and showed a marked disposition to cooperate with 
them in the readjustment in the Philippines, Cuba and 
Porto Rico. He relied, he said, upon the sense of justice 
of the President and his advisers in working out the sit- 
uation. Leo agreed with Gibbons that one of the great- 
est needs was the sending of American priests to the 
islands who would understand the American system as 
applied to Church and State better than the Spanish 
priests and friars. 

Arrangements were rapidly completed for the purchase 
of the property rights of the Church in Cuba and Porto 
Rico as a means of abolishing the public support of the 
clergy. With these adaptations to new conditions Leo 
expressed himself as thoroughly satisfied. The American 
Government, he said, gave proof of good will and ex- 
pressed in acts a spirit of justice and of respect for the 
liberty and rights of the Church. He voiced the firm 
conviction that there would be due respect for rights 
of property and of conscience under the government. The 
mass of reports which he received from Bishops and 
others confirmed him in this view and he was glad to 


express his gratitude to the President for the fairness and 
forbearance that had been shown. 

While in Rome Gibbons gave a dinner at which seven 
nationalities were represented in the group of fourteen 
persons, including two other Cardinals, three Arch- 
bishops, three Bishops, four priests and two laymen. He 
commented upon this as exemplifying in a striking man- 
ner the unity of the Catholic faith, which had remained 
with him as an especially profound impression ever since 
his memorable experience in the Vatican Council. 

Leo received him in farewell audience June 18. Gib- 
bons' mission had been concluded under the happiest aus- 
pices. The general lines of all pending readjustments 
of ecclesiastical conditions in the Spanish islands had 
been fixed and the democratic Pope and the democratic 
Cardinal were alike happy over the outcome. Leo ex- 
pressed the belief that it was the last time he would see 
Gibbons, upon whose counsel and vigorous help he had 
leaned so often. Gibbons, with whom the wish was per- 
haps father to the thought, was led to believe that the 
great commander under whom he had fought so many 
battles would live to round out a century. 

Gibbons had conducted his delicate mission in Rome 
under serious obstacles of ill health. The heat of the 
summer in the Eternal City oppressed him, especially as 
his general physical condition then showed, as it did not 
infrequently, signs of impairment. As usual, after a 
period of severe exertions in Rome, he sought recupera- 
tion in a leisurely trip homeward, spending a few days in 
Florence and then proceeding on his journey by way of 
France, Belgium, Holland, England and Ireland. When 


he arrived in Paris Paul Bourget was moved to write of 
him in Le Figaro: 

"Cardinal Gibbons is of the race of those ascetics in 
whom it seems that mortifications may have left only as 
much flesh as suffices for the labors of the soul." 

He was dismayed by the impression which intimate 
touch in Paris gave him of church legislation by the 
French Chambers, the character of which was beginning 
to cause grave concern. Mentally he contrasted it with 
the certainty with which the Church had been able to 
weather every difficulty that had confronted her in 
America and with the outlook for a continuation of the 
cordiality and mutual sympathy which prevailed be- 
tween the leaders of Church and State in his own 

After a visit to Cardinal Vaughan in London, where 
English Catholics were eager to meet and greet the co- 
worker of Maiming, he proceeded to Ireland. As the 
guest of the Bishop of Cloyne, addresses from Catholic 
societies were presented to him, commenting in glowing 
terms upon the advance of the Catholic faith in America 
during recent years. Responding to these. Gibbons ex- 
pressed his pleasure in testifying to the great share which 
Irish immigrants had borne in building up America's 
prosperity and the devoted sacrifices of the hundreds of 
Irish priests who labored among the American people. 
Amelioratory land legislation by the British Government 
had then attained some progress in Ireland and he ex- 
pressed the hope that the time had com.e for the Irish 
to remain at home, where, by the exercise of as much 


industry and initiative as they would show in America, 
they might attain prosperity which would satisfy their 

Sailing from Queenstown August 18, he received an 
enthusiastic welcome upon his arrival in New York. 
He summed up his observations abroad by remarking that 
he found that Americans were now regarded in a differ- 
ent light by Europeans. He said : 

"As 'nothing succeeds like success,' the vigor with 
which we carried on the Spanish-American War and the 
ease with which we gained possession of the Philippines 
and Porto Rico have caused Europeans to regard the 
United States as a world power. Certainly we are more 
feared than formerly, and there is not a movement made 
in Europe now without consideration of what effect it 
will have on the United States. I will not say that our 
successes will contribute to our happiness as a nation, 
but certainly they have increased our power and prestige 
abroad. But a few years ago, the United States was 
hardly taken into account at all; now, we are regarded 
as rivals with the powers of Europe, and are feared by 
them, politically and commercially." 

He returned to Baltimore August 25 and again re- 
ceived high public honors among the mass of his neigh- 
bors, who esteemed him, perhaps, more for the simple 
and homely virtues which he exhibited in his daily inter- 
course with them than for his eminence as a world figure, 
the reflected light of which conferred fame upon their city 
and his. An overflowing crowd acclaimed him at the 
railroad station, where he was formally received by the 
acting Mayor, Henry Williams, and by Charles J. Bona- 
parte on behalf of the Catholic laity. To their welcom- 


ing speeches he responded briefly, saying simply from the 
bottom of his heart that there was no country so dear 
to him as America and no place so dear to him as Balti- 

He was escorted to the Cathedral by a long parade of 
uniformed members of Catholic societies and others. In 
that noble edifice he spoke again of his pleasure in re- 
turning, and bestowed the Apostolic benediction. Stand- 
ing upon the front steps of his residence, an unfading 
picture to thousands who gazed at him, he reviewed the 
parade. It was characteristic of his intense piety as 
well as an example to his priests that on the same eve- 
ning, putting aside the exactions of business which had 
accumulated in his absence, he went into retreat with 
the clergy of his diocese for five days at St. Mary's 

Gibbons was watchful that the spiritual mission of the 
priests in the Spanish islands acquired by America should 
not be interfered with in any manner, any more than the 
spiritual mission of priests in the United States. Roose- 
velt and Gibbons, and later Taft and Gibbons, cooper- 
ated in the protection of the rights of the clergy and 
members of religious orders in the Philippines, Cuba and 
Porto Rico. The Cardinal's journal contains these 
entries : 

*'April 19 [1904]. Received a cablegram from 
Bishop Hendrick (of) Cebu, Philippines, requesting me 
to ask President Roosevelt to protect the Church there 

"20th. The President has replied to my letter of in- 
quiry, saying that he has no knowledge of the cause of 


the complaint, but will make immediate inquiries and 
report to me." 

Another instance of Roosevelt's cooperation is reflected 
in a letter which the Cardinal wrote to Archbishop 
Aguis, Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines. The let- 
ter read : 

"Baltimore, March 5, 1906. 
"Your Excellency : 

"I take pleasure in sending you herewith a copy of 
the letter which President Roosevelt has written me in 
reply to your Excellency's document, which I forwarded 
to him immediately on its receipt. 

"Your Excellency will not fail to note the favorable 
disposition of the President toward the matter of your 
representation. I am much pleased with the reply, and 
trust your Excellency will be pleased also. 

"With sentiments of great regard, 

"Yours very sincerely in Christ, 

"J. Card. Gibbons." 

At a later period he felt compelled to interpose in re- 
gard to a situation in Cuba of which the following entries 
in his journal give an account: 

"April 22 [1909]. The Apostolic Delegate of Cuba 
informed the Holy See of a threatened persecution of the 
Church in that Island by prohibiting external manifesta- 
tions of religion and by forbidding foreign clergymen and 
nuns from officiating. Through the Apostolic Delegate 
at Washington I was requested by the Holy Father to 
approach the civil authorities in Washington with the 
view of soliciting their good offices in behalf of the 
Church. I immediately conferred with Mr. Knox, Secre- 
tary of State, and with President Taft. I found Mr. 
Knox very sympathetic and Mr. Taft was eager to avert 


the hostility of the Cuban authorities without officially 
showing his hand. He informed me that he was send- 
ing a fleet to the Argentine Republic to participate in its 
centenary, bearing Gen. Leonard Wood, whom the Presi- 
dent would instruct to stop at Havana with the fleet and 
have a conversation with President Gomez on the subject 
of the adverse laws ; General Wood, on reaching Havana, 
called on the President and expostulated with him on the 
reported impending legislation. Gomez gave the Gen- 
eral his assurance that he would exercise his influence 
against the proposed laws and expressed his conviction 
that they would not be passed. Mr. Taft kindly wrote 
to me, inclosing General Wood's letter. 

"29. Senor Eliseo Giberga, a representative from the 
President of Cuba to the dedication festivities of the 
Temple of Peace at W^ashington, and General Carlos 
Garcia Velez, Cuban Minister to Washington, called on 
me by request of President Taft to inform me that in the 
judgment of President Gomez, the threatened legislation 
would never be declared ; that, though it should pass the 
lower House, it would probably be defeated in the upper 
House, and even if it should pass the upper House, it 
would certainly be vetoed by the President. 

"June 20. Received from Cardinal Merry del Val 
a grateful acknowledgment on the part of the Holy Fa- 
ther for my services in the Cuban affair." 

The uniform cooperation from the American authori- 
ties which he received in steps taken for the protection 
of priests wherever the flag floated furnished him with 
new arguments to present to Rome whenever the ques- 
tion of the Church's safety in America was discussed by 
European ecclesiastics who lacked direct knowledge of 
the practical operations of the system here which Gib- 
bons so warmly defended. 


When the Catholic world — indeed, men everywhere 
who honored preeminent goodness and greatness com- 
bined in one person — prepared in 1903 to give expres- 
sion to the rejoicing that Leo XIII had been spared to 
reign twenty-five years, it is safe to say that no one, how- 
ever exalted or however humble his station in the Church, 
contemplated the coming event with feelings that more 
deeply stirred the soul than Gibbons. It seemed that 
these two men, whom Archbishop Ireland had linked in 
a phrase as the "providential Pope" and the "providen- 
tial Archbishop," had been raised up together to share in 
many things in which neither could have attained his 
full purposes without the other. Leo leaned upon the 
judgment of Gibbons. Gibbons regarded the support of 
Leo as the most powerful influence on earth in giving ef- 
fect to his own aspirations for Church and country. But 
the bond between them was more than a bond of con- 
current judgment, more than a bond of concurrent striv- 
ing; it was one of full mutual confidence, of full mutual 
reliance, of an intensity of personal affection attainable 
only by souls that ranged far above the commonplace. 
The brilliant success of one was the joy of the other. 

These two captains of the Church seemed to have been 
cast in the same mold, even (at least to some extent) 



physically; and there was a strange parallel in their 
careers. Both appeared frail and were obstructed in 
some of their greatest undertakings by lapses of health, 
but both survived to ages given to few men — Leo to 
ninety-three and Gibbons to eighty-six. The resemblance 
between them in face and form was unmistakable. The 
type was precisely the same — the slendemess, grace, 
alertness combined with benignity, the general cast of 
delicately molded features, the appearance at times al- 
most of a saintliness beyond this earth, to which the fra- 
gility of their frames lent an added touch of similitude. 

Both were natural leaders, born to high command, 
exercising control in the largest fields with greater ease 
and poise perhaps even than in smaller ones, attracting 
to themselves the devoted zeal of a multitude of fol- 
lowers ; men who led but did not drive, vibrant with per- 
sonal force that communicated itself instantly to those 
with whom they came in contact, small or large in num- 

Their mental conceptions seemed to proceed from the 
same outlook. Leo swept the world with a scrutiny 
reaching beyond the visible present into the invisible 
future. The same gift belonged to Gibbons. While their 
programs were so far in advance of what men of narrow 
vision could conceive that they sometimes appeared im- 
practical for a limited time, their long lives brought full 
vindication of their judgment in every important aspect. 

To Leo and Gibbons it was a changing world; a proc- 
ess of rapid evolution was astir. They lived in times 
that forecast other times. The Church must not wait 
for the pressure of events to direct her, but must antici- 


pate those events and be a forerunner of the world's 

This applied mainly to the spiritual, but in the minds 
of these two the spiritual and the material welfare of 
men were closely linked. While they preached, they 
wished also to feed the hungry multitude with the loaves 
and fishes. Men were breaking some of their political 
bonds, and they would soon break more. As Leo and 
Gibbons saw, the Church had been the friend of liberty, 
was a friend of liberty in their time and was preparing 
the way for a larger liberty in the future. It was a 
Christian liberty which eased men's shoulders from the 
burden and delivered their hands from making the pots, 
but it was also a liberty which must be prevented from 
losing its steady, saving force through violent extremes. 

While, in the minds of both, the kingdom of the 
Church must be established in the hearts and consciences 
of men, Leo relaxed no claim of the temporal power, 
being convinced as firmly as any one who ever sat in the 
chair of Peter that the independence of the Papacy was 
necessary for the unity of the faith. As nuncio at Brus- 
sels, he had learned that relations with governments were 
necessary to the Church in some countries and at some 
times ; but he repudiated as abhorrent in one of his ency- 
clicals the theory that the Church sought, or should 
seek, to be the master of the State. 

Both Leo and Gibbons had formulated all of their 
greater ideas before either of them knew the other's mind. 
When the fortune of ecclesiastical preferment threw them 
in close contact, each rejoiced to find in the other a re- 
flection of himself. Gibbons had no wish to take any 


active steps for the extension in practise beyond America 
of his own views as to civil relations. He felt that he 
was an American churchman with a mission to America, 
and that satisfied him abundantly; but in the march of 
events he became a world figure. 

The Church, the Bishop, the priest, the layman in 
America he wished to be American in sympathy; to him 
the bond of confidence and intimate similarity between 
them and their country showed the way to the progress 
of religion. While no particular type of nationality was 
necessary in a priest to enable him to perform the func- 
tions of universal love and service which are embraced 
within the Christian faith, the door of approach to the 
people would be opened wider if priests and parishioners 
were one in all the essential human traits and habits of 
thought. In America, no less than England, the num- 
ber of priests of foreign birth in Gibbons' early years, 
and the century which had preceded those years, had been 
large from a cause of which he was well aware — the lack 
of facilities for training them in their own country. So 
far as America was concerned this had been due to the 
sparseness of the Catholic population in the English 
element which made up the overwhelming majority of the 
colonists who established their independence in 1776, 
as well as to the restrictive laws which grievously bur- 
dened Catholics in a number of those colonies while under 
British rule. 

Both opportunity and material means were lacking for 
the establishment of seminaries in which to train priests 
during the first half century of independence, but now a 
marvel had been wrought. The comparatively small 


band of Catholics who had unanimously rallied to the 
cause of Washington had expanded into a multitude of 
millions, whose aggregate wealth was amply sufficient to 
provide for all the necessary operations of the Church 
in the United States. Now American democracy could 
be exemplified by American Catholic priests to the 
American people as never before. Gibbons wished the 
proportion of these exemplars to be swelled to the ut- 
most extent possible, and the evidence of the results of 
his efforts in that direction became overwhelming. 

America was free, and it was not simply a political 
freedom as Gibbons saw it. It was a freedom for every 
reasonable aspiration in men. There must be economic 
freedom — hence he fought for the rights of labor. There 
must be social freedom — hence he strove for changes that 
would loosen unreasonable social restrictions imposed 
upon the mass. To preserve this freedom, to multiply its 
heritage, there must be incessant vigilance against inroads 
by extremists. The Church, it appeared to him, must 
teach and preach by example even more than by precept. 

Here, he felt, the road to the hearts of men was far 
more widely open than in the countries of Europe. He 
wished to take that road and rejoiced that the way was 
clear and free. 

The parallel between Leo and Gibbons had been pre- 
served even in their elevation to the highest offices which 
they filled. Leo had been raised to the Papacy in Feb- 
ruary, 1878, and in the same month the pallium had been 
placed upon the shoulders of Gibbons as Archbishop of 
Baltimore. On the threshold of his major career. Gib- 
bons had shared the general expectation that the new 


Pope with whom he was to labor concurrently would not 
survive for many years; for the principal argument used 
against the selection of Cardinal Pecci in the conclave 
had been his age, then sixty-eight years. The reign of 
Pius IX, thirty-two years in duration, had accustomed 
churchmen to look for the benefits that accrued from pro- 
longed tenure in the supreme Pontificate, with the uni- 
formity of aims and methods that it brings and its orderly 
evolution of policies which require much time for frui- 
tion. Though the reign of the predecessor of Leo was 
the longest in the history of the Papacy, he did not fall 
far short of equaling it. 

Leo had celebrated the golden jubilee of his episcopate 
in 1893, when Gibbons had shared to the full in the 
felicitations which were conveyed to him by prelates 
throughout the world. The American Cardinal's friend. 
President Cleveland, who had recently been inaugurated 
for a second term, joined with the executives of other 
nations in expressing grateful recognition of Leo's serv- 
ices to humanity. Through Gibbons, he sent to the Pon- 
tiff as a present one of an edition of twenty copies con- 
taining the official papers and documents written by him 
during his first term in the presidency. His congratula- 
tions were conveyed in the following letter ^ to Gibbons : 

"Executive Mansion, 

"Washington, June 9, 1893. 
*'To His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons^ 
"Your Eminence: 

"Please permit me to transmit through you to his Holi- 
ness, Leo XIII, my sincere congratulations on the occa- 
sion of the Golden Jubilee of his Episcopate. 

* Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


"The pleasure attending this expression of my felici- 
tations is much enhanced by the remembrance that his 
Holiness has always manifested a lively interest in the 
prosperity of the United States and great admiration for 
our political institutions. I am glad to believe that these 
sentiments are the natural outgrowth of the Holy 
Father's solicitude for the welfare and happiness of the 
masses of humanity, and his special sympathy for every 
effort made to dignify simple manhood and to promote 
the social and moral betterment of those who toil. 

"The kindness with which his Holiness lately accepted 
a copy of the Constitution of the United States leads me 
to suggest that — if it does not seem presumption — it 
would please me exceedingly to place in his hands a 
book containing the official papers and documents writ- 
ten by me during my previous term of office. 
"Yours very sincerely, 

"Grover Cleveland." 

Gibbons expressed his cordial appreciation of the 
President's thoughtfulness, and in due time the volume 
was prepared and forwarded to him. He acknowledged 
it in this letter : 

"Cardinal's Residence 

"408 N. Charles St., 

"Baltimore, Md. 

"September 20, 1893. 
"My dear Mr. Cleveland: 

"On returning home today from Chicago, I found the 
valuable volume containing your State papers awaiting 
my return. I shall forward the volume as soon as possible 
to Rome, and I assure you that there are few gifts which 
the Holy Father will receive with more satisfaction than 
yours. . . . 

"I avail myself of this occasion by joyfully tendering 


to Mrs. Cleveland and yourself my hearty congratula- 
tions on the choice blessing which God has bestowed upon 
you both in the person of a new daughter, the first child, 
I am told, ever born to a President during his incum- 
bency of the presidential office. May this young queen 
be a source of unalloyed joy and consolation to her 

"Faithfully yrs. in Christ, 

"J. Card. Gibbons." 

With the approach of Leo's silver jubilee as Pope, Gib- 
bons wrote to him a fervent letter in the name of the 
American Bishops upon the anniversary. He expressed 
joy that Leo in his long reign had given signal proofs of 
his interest in the Church in America. Among these 
proofs he enumerated the convoking of the Third Plen- 
ary Council of Baltimore, which had framed for the 
Church here a stable and comprehensive constitution that 
had served to prepare her for her marvelous advance; the 
Papal support of and interest in the Catholic University 
at Washington, which had made possible the develop- 
ment of that great project far even beyond the hopes of 
those who had cherished it in its beginnings; and Leo's 
special letter of congratulation on the centennial of the 
American Hierarchy, in which he had crowned with the 
Pontifical commendation the program for the expansion 
of the Church here which the Bishops were then begin- 
ning to carry out. To Leo he gave his fullest loyalty as 
the apex and center of Catholic teaching and of the 
priesthood, the representative of that unity which Christ 
destined for His Church.^ 

•Letter of Cardinal Gibbons to Leo XIII, March 3, 1902. 


In the following month the Pope responded with an 
encyclical addressed to Gibbons and the American 
Bishops, in which he recorded his deepest gratitude for 
their continuous support during his Pontificate, as well as 
for the development of religion in the United States. He 
wrote : 

"Certainly we have reason to rejoice, and the Catholic 
world, on account of its reverence for the Apostolic See, 
has reason to rejoice at the extraordinary fact that we 
are to be reckoned as the third in the long line of Roman 
Pontiffs to whom it has been happily given to enter upon 
the twenty-fifth year of the supreme priesthood. But in 
this circle of congratulations, while the voices of all are 
welcome to us, that of the Bishops and faithful of the 
United States of North America brings us special joy, 
both on account of the conditions which give your coun- 
try prominence over many others, and of the special love 
we entertain for you. 

"You have been pleased, beloved son and venerable 
brothers, in your joint letter to us, to mention in detail 
what, prompted by love for you, we have done for your 
churches during the course of our pontificate. We, on 
the other hand, are glad to call to mind the many dif- 
ferent ways in which you have ministered to our consola- 
tion throughout this period. If we found pleasure in the 
state of things which prevailed among you when we first 
entered upon the charge of the supreme apostolate, now 
that we have advanced beyond twenty-four years in the 
same charge, we are constrained to confess that our first 
pleasure has never been diminished, but, on the contrary, 
has increased from day to day by reason of the increase 
of Catholicity iamong you. 

"The cause of this increase, although first of all to be 
attributed to the providence of God, must also be ascribed 


both to your energy and activity. You have, in your 
prudent policy, promoted every kind of Catholic organi- 
zation with such wisdom as to provide for all necessities 
and all contingencies in harmony with the remarkable 
character of the people of your country. 

"We have gladly availed ourselves of every oppor- 
tunity to testify to the constancy of our solicitude for you 
and for the interests of religion among you. And our 
daily experience obliges us to confess that we have found 
your people, through your influence, endowed with per- 
fect docility of mind and alacrity of disposition. There- 
fore, while the changes and tendencies of nearly all the 
nations which were Catholic for many centuries give 
cause for sorrow, the state of your churches in their flour- 
ishing youthfulness cheers our heart and fills it with de- 
light. True, you are shown no special favor by the law 
of the land, but, on the other hand, your law-givers are 
certainly entitled to praise for the fact that they do 
nothing to restrain you in your just liberty." ^ 

Leo proceeded to express his satisfaction with the 
methods which the Church had adopted for carrying her 
appeal among Protestants. He highly commended the 
missions in behalf of the Indians, in which Gibbons had 
been particularly active, and those of the priests and 
teachers who had been sent to assist the negro popula- 
tion in its struggle upward. Gibbons ordered a triduum 
April 3 in honor of the jubilee. 

The mind of Leo, which had glowed so long like a 
brilliant torch, could not burn forever, and the worn, 
body, almost transparent in its frailty, must yield in time 
to the weakness of the flesh. Soon after the jubilee his 
last illness, pneumonia, fell upon him. Often before the 
'Encyclical, April 15, 190a. 


whisper that the Pope had been taken ill had passed 
around the Vatican; but this time it was not long before 
his physicians and household saw that hopes of his re- 
covery were vain. Their efforts were directed toward 
prolonging his life by the devices of medical science. 

When it appeared that death was inevitable, Gibbons 
was promptly advised from Rome. No American up to 
that time had taken part in the election of a Pope. Car- 
dinal McCloskey had been a member of the Sacred Col- 
lege at the death of Pius IX, and had sailed for Rome 
to vote in the conclave; but he had proceeded only as 
far as Paris when he was notified that the new Pontiff 
had already been elected. Travel to Europe had be- 
come more rapid now, and Gibbons resolved that physi- 
cal obstacles should not prevent his participation with 
his brother Cardinals in the great function that was 
before them. 

If Gibbons had waited until the Pope's death to start, 
it would have been impossible, perhaps, for him to reach 
Rome in time, as the conclave was to begin on the tenth 
day after death. For several days before the final mes- 
sage from Rome caused him to decide to set out, accom- 
modations were secured for him provisionally on every 
steamship that sailed from New York. He was kept 
informed of the movements of ships and other details 
regarding the prospects of his trip until midnight on 
those days. 

It was eleven o'clock Wednesday morning, July 8, 
1893, when Gibbons received in a cable dispatch from 
Cardinal Rampolla the information that the Pope's 
death was certain. Not a moment was lost. The Rev. 


P. C. Gavan, chancellor of the archdiocese of Baltimore, 
whom he had selected to accompany him as conclavist, 
was sitting at his desk in the archiepiscopal residence 
when Gibbons entered the room and said simply: "Come 
along, sir.'* 

Down went the desk with a bang, for the priest knew 
the Cardinal's mood and was ready to fall in with it. 
The letter which he had been writing was left unfin- 
ished. When he returned from Rome, it was still there; 
but he had met abroad the one for whom it was intended. 
Gibbons and Gavan hurried to the ofRce of a steamship 
agent with whom they had been in communication, ob- 
tained their tickets, and returned home for hasty and 
final packing. After a hurried dinner they boarded the 
train at one o'clock for New York. They found their 
apartments ready on the vessel which was to bear them 
across the Atlantic, despite the fact that the tide of Euro- 
pean travel was then at its height for the season, and ac- 
commodations on fast ocean ships could usually be ob- 
tained only by waiting for months. 

More than a week passed, but still Leo lived. The 
world had become so accustomed to the marvel of his 
vitality that it was not surprised. At last all human 
resources failed, and on July 20 he expired. 

Gibbons was then in Paris. His presence in Rome was 
not immediately necessary, and he proceeded to Lucerne, 
where he spent several days. In that city United States 
Senator Elkins, of West Virginia, showed him especial 
honor. He also met Senator Depew of New York and 
him who was to be Depew's successor, the then Justice 
O' Gorman. 


On Sunday morning, July 26, he arrived in Rome, 
and took up his quarters at the Procura of St. Sulpice, 
where there were also four French Cardinals — Richard of 
Paris, Perraud of Autun, Lecot of Bordeaux and Coullie 
of Lyons. Sixty-one other Cardinals had arrived in the 
city — the entire membership of the Sacred College at 
that time, except Moran of Australia, and the Cardinal 
of Palermo, who was kept at home by illness. 

Rome was not lacking in special interest in the un- 
precedented circumstance of the arrival of an American 
Cardinal to take part in the election of a Pope. One 
newspaper printed an account of his career, the first part 
of which was a word picture of America, represented 
as young, strong, ardent, impatient of restraint, bold 
and successful. The article proceeded to declare that 
Gibbons possessed these qualifications in an eminent de- 
gree. As the writer, with a leap of the imagination, 
forecast the conclave. Gibbons would rush matters from 
the beginning, would brook no delays, and would bring 
the proceedings to a speedy end even if the hallowed 
traditions of centuries were dragged in the dust. 

The next morning the secretary of one of the Cardinals, 
whose See was on the shore of the Adriatic, said to Father 
Gavan : 

"Who is your Cardinal?' 

"Cardinal Gibbons — the American Cardinal," replied 
the priest. 

"What, the terrible American I" was the startled reply. 
"Show him to me when he comes out." 

When Gibbons appeared the young secretary looked 
disappointed and exclaimed : 


"Why, he is just as cultivated, refined and intellectual 
as one of our own Italian cardinals." 

The conclave did not assemble until the Friday evening 
following Gibbons' arrival. In the meanwhile there were 
services in the Sistine Chapel every morning, after which 
the Cardinals gathered in the halls of the Vatican and at- 
tended to the business of the Church, as is their custom 
when the Papacy is vacant. For the time being they 
were all sovereigns, sharing equally in deciding the ques- 
tions which came before them. The camerlengo. Car- 
dinal Oreglia, the only member of the conclave who had 
been elevated before the reign of Leo, presided. Busi- 
ness to be transacted was presented by Monsignor Merry 
del Val, secretary of the conclave, who was not then a 
Cardinal, but was soon to succeed to that dignity and to 
the Papal secretaryship of state. 

About six o'clock Friday evening the electors entered 
the conclave and drew lots for the apartments in the 
Vatican which they were to occupy. Gibbons received as 
his quarters two rooms which had been used as offices, near 
the entrance to a staircase leading to the apartments lately 
occupied by Leo. One room was for the Cardinal him- 
self, the other for his conclavist. They were small and 
scantily furnished, the room of Gibbons containing an old 
iron bedstead, one armchair, two smaller chairs with 
rush bottoms, a table and an iron washstand. Their 
meals were served by a domestic servant who occupied 
quarters in another part of the building. 

Leo's own hand had framed the regulations under 
which his successor was elected. He had been camer- 
lengo at the death of Pius IX, and had been impressed 


to set down, for the benefit of posterity, the fruit of his 
experience in the conclave that ensued. There are elab- 
orate regulations for the choice of a Pope, for the Church 
devotes supreme effort to establishing safeguards for 
preventing human interposition against the will of Divine 
Providence in such gatherings. From historical experi- 
ence she has designated precise forms to protect the se- 
crecy and fairness of the election. Leo revised the previ- 
ously existing regulations to some extent, writing the 
rules carefully in a book, which he ordered to be pre- 
served for the exigency that would follow his own death. 

The main precautions which the wisdom of centuries 
has shown to be desirable were retained without essential 
change. While in the conclave the Cardinals are virtually 
prisoners. They are, in some respects, like a civil jury, 
locked up to deliberate upon a case of momentous grav- 
ity, though far more care is taken to bring about the best 
decision on their part, and the dignity and solemnity which 
surround them and their function are infinitely greater. 

The requirement of rigorous seclusion was emphasized 
by a decree of Gregory X in the year 1274 a. d. after he 
had been elected by a conclave which drew out its ses- 
sions more than three years. This was the conclave of 
Viterbo, which assembled upon the death of Clement IV. 
After an interregnum of two years and nine months had 
elapsed, the seventeen Cardinals who were voting were 
shut up in the Papal palace with no food but bread and 
no drink but water. As the decision did not seem to be 
hastened, Charles of Anjou went further and took off 
part of the palace roof, in order that the unchecked ele- 
ments of nature might operate in forcing the electors to 


complete their task; but even after that ordeal of physi- 
cal hardship was imposed upon them, six months passed 
before they united in choosing Gregory. Time has some- 
what modified the severe discipline in regard to conclaves 
imposed by him and succeeding Pontiffs in the Middle 
Ages; but there has not been the slightest departure from 
the principles of seclusion and secrecy. 

Every step of the solemn process impressed the keenly 
imaginative mind of Gibbons, as his experience in the 
majesty of the Vatican Council, the first ecumenical gath- 
ering of the Church in three hundred years, had im- 
pressed him a third of a century before. It is impossible 
for a man of sensitive perceptions to pass through such 
scenes without being almost overwhelmed by the weight 
of the message which they bear from the early days of 
Christianity, when strong and devoted fathers of the 
Church kept alive the fire of faith amid the utmost dis- 
tractions that afl3icted men and nations. Through all of 
the trials no fraction of doctrine was surrendered; no 
rule of discipline was permanently modified against the 
impartial judgment of the Church. 

In the presence of evidence, that swept the senses, of 
the rising and falling of kingdoms and of men while the 
faith alone endured, the American Cardinal was thrilled, 
but he did not lose his poise. At the Vatican council, as 
the youngest of twelve hundred Bishops, he had felt 
obliged to preserve a "discreet silence," as he wrote, 
though he formed definite opinions upon every subject 
that came up, and acted in accordance with them. Now 
he was a Cardinal of nineteen years' service. Was he to 
be a leader or a follower? Men like himself must bear 


the responsibility of the all-important decision about to 
be made. Must he relapse into diffidence because he was 
the first American to sit in a Papal conclave^ Would 
the novelty of his role, all the more striking to him as he 
lived and moved for the time being amid the traditions 
of centuries, subdue his voice"? His mental answer was 
"no!" Though the mass of these traditions had been 
born while America was still a wilderness, he spoke now 
for 15,000,000 Catholics, and as their representative he 
would not fail to do his part. 

As always under trying circumstances, a buoyant cheer- 
fulness sustained him. When Cardinal Oreglia, as the 
time for secluding the electors arrived, passed along the 
corridors where they were lodged, preceded by a master 
of ceremonies, crying ''Extra omnesr Gibbons remarked: 
"Just think of my being locked up and my liberty cur- 
tailed at my time of life !" 

A ballot was taken every morning while the conclave 
was in progress. The master of ceremonies passed the 
apartments of the electors, summoning them with the 
formula ''In capellam^ 'Domini'^ They proceeded to the 
Sistine Chapel, where they took the seats allotted to them, 
over each of which was a canopy indicating the sovereign 
dignity which they possessed for the time being. The 
subdean celebrated low Mass, and the voting began. 

Three Cardinals {scrutatores) were chosen by lot each 
time to preside over the voting; three (revisores) to veri- 
fy the count, and three (infirmaru) to collect the ballots 
of the sick. Each elector received a sckedula, or voting 
paper. The ballots were folded thrice. On the top of 
the form were printed the words, "Ego cardinalis" and 


there the elector wrote his name. On the middle were 
the words, "Eligo in summum Fontificem Rm. Dm. 
meum D. Card." (I elect for Sovereign Pontiff my most 
Reverend Lord Cardinal ) . The name of the can- 
didate for whom the elector wished to vote was written 
here. At the bottom of the ballot, which was left empty, 
the elector inscribed a device, which was not infrequently 
a text of Scripture or a prayer. The top and bottom of 
the ballot were then folded together, the bottom being 
over the top, and were secured by a seal, which did not 
betray the elector's identity. 

Two designs were engraved on the reverse side. The 
word "Nomen" was printed on the top one, meaning that 
under it on the obverse side would be found the name of 
the voter. The word "Signa" was on the lower, indicat- 
ing that on the obverse would be found the voter's device. 
These designs prevented the writing from being read 
through the paper. 

On the altar stood a chalice, in which the Cardinals, 
advancing, deposited their ballots, one by one in due or- 
der. Each kneeling, pronounced in Latin these words: 'T 
call Christ our Lord, Who will judge me, to witness that I 
elect the person who, before God, I think should be elected, 
and which I shall make good in the vote of accession." * 

* The vote of accession represents a second step, but by decision of 
the Cardinals it was dispensed with in 1903. It is seldom that a can- 
didate receives the required two-thirds majority on the first ballot. If 
no candidate has received two-thirds, and the vote of accession is to 
be taken, a second ballot begins immediately. Each of the electors now 
marks his vote with the same device and number as before but in the 
middle part of the voting paper the words are altered to read: "Accedo 
Reverendis, D. mea D. Card." (I transfer my vote to my Lord Cardinal 

.) If an elector wishes to vote as on the first ballot, he writes 

"Nemini" after this, meaning: "I do not wish to transfer my vote to 
any one." If the votes of accession combired with those of the first ballot 
give any Cardinal the requisite majority, a minute verification begins. 


The ballots were burned at the end of each vote. If 
there was no election a little damp straw was strewn on 
the flames, which caused a thick column of dark smoke 
{sfumata) to arise from the chimney. Thus the waiting 
crowd in the piazza of St. Peter's knew that the Papacy- 
was still vacant. After the scrutiny which showed that 
a Pope had been chosen, the ballots were burned without 
the straw and the white smoke conveyed the welcome 
news to the multitude. 

A grave difficulty in the choice of a new Pope pre- 
sented itself to the Sacred College. Many of the mem- 
bers desired the elevation of Cardinal RampoUa, Leo's 
brilliant Secretary of State, who had spoken the mind 
and executed the policies of that Pontiff, and to whose 
skill and breadth of view Leo owed not a few of the suc- 
cesses in diplomacy which he obtained. Rampolla, for 
all his tact, had been no more wanting in courage than 
his master. Austria, then the leading Catholic power, 
feared that his friendship for France would be too much 
in evidence if he rose to the Papacy, and his numerous 
body of supporters in the conclave were weakened in their 
stand by the impression that his election was impossible. 
The difficulty which an aggressive Papal Secretary of 
State must find in obtaining the equal good will of all the 
powers is apparent. 

By custom rather than law, but still a custom which, 
previous to 1903, had possessed the weight of law, the 
right of veto on the election of any one as Pope had been 
conceded to the three principal Catholic powers, Aus- 
tria, France and Spain, and they had sought to exercise it 
not infrequently. There was a belief that if Rampolla's 


election became probable, Austria would seize the oppor- 
tunity to interpose directly. 

Cardinals Serafino Vannutelli, Svampa and Gotti, each 
of whom would have been considered a worthy successor 
of Leo, also commanded considerable followings. The 
general view among the electors before the balloting be- 
gan was that Vannutelli would win. The result rein- 
forced the credence given to the ancient saying: "He 
who enters the conclave Pope, comes out Cardinal." 
Svampa's name was associated with certain prophecies 
attributed in recent times to the twelfth century St. 
Malachy of Armagh, among which ''ignis ardens^' or 
burning fire, was indicated for the successor of Leo. 
Gotti was the Prefect of the Propaganda, called the 
"Red Pope" on account of his power in that office, and 
also the "Marble Cardinal" because he had worn the 
white habit of a Carmelite monk. 

One of those who had discussed with his colleagues 
before the period of seclusion the chances of these prom- 
inent candidates was Cardinal Sarto, the loved and sim- 
ple-hearted Patriarch of Venice. It had not entered his 
thoughts that he himself might be chosen to the Pontifi- 
cate, and when he left his See to take part in the con- 
clave he had bought a return ticket. To his amazement, 
he received five votes on the first ballot. Turning to one 
who was near him he said: 

"The Cardinals are amusing themselves at my expense." 

Rampolla led at the outset of the voting, and continued 
to gain for some time. On the third scrutiny he received 
twenty-nine votes, forty-two being necessary to elect. 
Just before the fourth ballot, the expected veto of Aus- 


tria was communicated by the Archbishop of Cracow, but 
Rampolla held his twenty-nine votes firmly. The Car- 
dinals wished to indicate clearly that they desired to pre- 
serve their freedom of action. 

But Sarto had developed unexpected strength, and the 
supporters of Rampolla began to lose heart more and 
more. On the fifth ballot, still desiring to assert their 
independence, they rallied again, and he received thirty 
votes, his highest for the conclave, while Sarto received 

Sarto now seemed positively frightened, and begged 
the Cardinals not to think of him. His tears flowed 
again as he exclaimed: "I beseech you to forget my 
name." Cardinal Lecot having addressed a remark to 
him in French, he replied that he did not understand that 
language. With Gallic spirit, Lecot responded: "You 
will never be Pope if you do not speak French." "Thanks 
be to God I" exclaimed Sarto fervently.^ 

Though Rampolla had maintained and even increased 
his vote, it was now evident that he would not be elected. 
The appeals of Sarto could not be disregarded by his col- 
leagues, and the situation had reached an impasse. All 
of the Cardinals but Gibbons seemed to consider that the 
election of the Patriarch of Venice was impossible. Gib- 
bons sounded out the situation by questioning some of 
them, and they agreed in the view that Sarto could no 
longer be considered a candidate. He had positively 
refused to accept any further support, and the situation 
appeared to have fallen back to where it was when the 
conclave had begun. 

" Forbes, Life of Pius X, p. 62. 


To Gibbons the developments of the conclave had but 
one meaning. Sarto was the choice of the Cardinals, and 
that choice must not be set aside. In his bare room, he 
held a consultation with his long time friend and devoted 
adherent, Satolli, and they canvassed the situation with 
the gravest concern. Satolli, like the other Italian Car- 
dinals, could see no available candidate, and he was 
equally positive that it was impossible to persuade Sarto 
to swerve from his decision. 

Gibbons had great faith in the persuasive eloquence of 
Satolli, and he felt that as a fellow-countryman of the 
Patriarch of Venice no one was better fitted to induce 
Sarto to turn aside from a decision that seemed irrevo- 
cable. Many had pleaded with him, but Gibbons doubted 
that these appeals had been carefully calculated as to 
their effectiveness; and he decided to frame for himself a 
speech to be addressed to Sarto, through the mouth of 
Satolli, imploring him to lay aside his objections, and 
urging upon him as a duty to submit to the will of Provi- 
dence, sacrificing himself in the interest of religion. Sa- 
tolli was firmly convinced that the project would be 
futile, but he could refuse nothing that Gibbons asked, 
and he promised to undertake the mission. 

This state of mind on Satolli's part confirmed Gibbons 
in his view of the necessity of framing his own argu- 
ment to be presented, for he alone appeared to believe 
that Sarto could still be persuaded. When Satolli ex- 
claimed "What shall we do? — What can we do?" Gib- 
bons replied : 

"Cardinal Sarto must be made to accept. He must not 
be allowed to refuse. Impress upon him with all the 


force of that eloquence which you possess that he is the 
choice of his colleagues; that God's will is being mani- 
fested through them; that he must accept the sacrifice, 
take up the burden, and God will give him the necessary 
strength to guide the bark of Peter." 

Gibbons elaborated the appeal and Satolli proceeded 
to execute his delicate undertaking. Inspired by the ear- 
nestness of Gibbons, he pressed home one argument after 
another, until at length he induced Sarto to say that he 
would accept election "as a cross." 

Satolli reported his success to Gibbons, who proceeded 
on the same night to call on Sarto and strengthen him in 
his decision by pouring the balm of consolation upon his 
troubled spirit. He assured the Pope-to-be that the 
Church in America, with all her devotion and enthusiasm, 
would be an element of strength to him, his glory and 
his crown. Sarto never forgot that interview. 

Gibbons requested Satolli to announce Sarto's accept- 
ance to the conclave without delay, and the joyful news: 
"He has consented" passed among the electors. Satolli 
declared to the conclave that Sarto, yielding to the pres- 
sure of his colleagues, had resigned himself to Providence. 
On the next ballot, the sixth, he received thirty-five votes, 
while Rampolla's vote fell to sixteen. On the seventh 
ballot fifty votes were cast for Sarto, and he was elected. 

After the election the canopies of all the thrones, ex- 
cept Sarto's, were lowered, according to custom. He was 
on the verge of prostration, and a deathly pallor over- 
spread his countenance. Restoratives were administered 
to him and at length he revived sufficiently to be robed 
in the white cassock of a Pope. After he had chosen the 


name of Pius, he removed his red zucchetto and presented 
it to Archbishop Merry del Val, indicative of the future 
elevation of that prelate to the Sacred College. 

Gibbons saw, as he said, "the overruling action of the 
Holy Ghost in those heterogeneous elements" that com- 
posed the Sacred College, and upon leaving the Sistine 
Chapel at the conclusion of the conclave he exclaimed: 
"The finger of God is here." 

Thus was the voice of an American, heard for the 
first time in a Papal conclave, potent in bringing about a 
decision. The hopelessness regarding Sarto's acceptance 
which appeared to overpower the other Cardinals, was 
foreign to Gibbons because he was never hopeless and 
rarely despondent. It was not the first time that he had 
brought a great result out of seeming failure. When other 
men wavered, his natural disposition, as well as his judg- 
ment, seemed to incline him to stand more firmly than 

The Cardinals could not fail to recall the parallel to 
the conclave of 1878 when Cardinal Pecci, the future 
Leo XIII, had been on the point of pleading with the 
Sacred College not to elect him. O'Reilly relates that 
just before the voting began Pecci said to one of the 
members of the Sacred College : 

"I cannot control myself. I must address the Sacred 
College. I fear that they are about to commit a sad 
mistake. People think I am a learned man. They take 
me as one possessing wisdom; but I am neither learned 
nor wise. They suppose I have the necessary qualifi- 
cations for a Pope ; I have nothing of the kind. That is 
what I want to say to the Cardinals." 


The other Cardinal replied : 

"As to your learning, we, not you, can best judge of 
that. As to your qualifications for the Pontifical office, 
God knows what they are; leave it all to Him." 

Cardinal Pecci obeyed.* 

On the evening of the day on which the conclave ended 
Gibbons called on the new Pope and found that his agi- 
tation had departed. A great inward calm sustained him. 
Pius, who by that time had learned of the influences 
which had operated within the conclave, welcomed the 
American Cardinal with the deepest gratitude and affec- 
tion. He accepted his elevation as due to the working 
of Divine Providence, of which Gibbons had been an 
instrument in saving him from holding out to the end, in 
his deep humility, against the call to the Papacy. 

Pius, in his thankfulness, would have granted almost 
any request that Gibbons could have made, but the only 
wish which the American Cardinal had to express at that 
time was characteristic of him — one for a simple personal 
service to others. Some American pilgrims were in Rome, 
having started from their distant homes in the expecta- 
tion of being received by Leo XIII. Now there was a 
new Pope, but they were obliged to leave the city the 
next day. Would Pius see them in their eagerness to be 
among the first to behold the successor of Leo after his 
elevation? They did not fully comprehend the difficulty 
of granting their request, and they believed, like other 
American Catholics, that Gibbons could accomplish al- 
most anything. 

The Cardinal knew of the preoccupations of the new 

® O'Reilly, Life of Leo XIII, p. 310. 


Pope on the second day of his reign. He knew that it 
would be almost presumptuous to ask Pius to turn aside 
from the mass of decisions that were pressing upon him 
to receive any part of the group of pilgrims who are 
nearly always in Rome, but his kind heart would not per- 
mit his voice to frame the word "no" to his fellow-coun- 
trymen. He decided to present the request to Pius, 
knowing that the Pope would comply, if at all, only as 
a favor to him and not as a favor to the American 

He found the Pope more than ready to do what he pro- 
posed. Pius, notwithstanding the need of conserving and 
regulating his time, when so many wished to see him 
upon business that could not be deferred, replied in- 
stantly that he would grant the request with pleasure "at 
any time you suggest," thus giving the visit of the Ameri- 
cans precedence over everything else that was immediately 
before him. Gibbons responded: 

"I shall be glad if you will receive them, your Holi- 
ness, at any time which you may suggest." 

"I will receive them to-morrow afternoon," replied 
Pius, and he kept his word. 

Gibbons accompanied the pilgrims into the Papal audi- 
ence chamber. When he went forward to kiss the hand 
of the Pontiff, as is customary, Pius would not permit it ; 
in a burst of affection, he opened his arms, embraced Gib- 
bons and kissed him on both cheeks. 

Gibbons could not leave Rome without canvassing the 
situation and prospects of the Church in America with 
the new Pontiff, to whom he must now look for support. 
He knew, of course, that Pius lacked the varied and ac- 


curate knowledge of America which Leo had shown on 
so many occasions, partly the result of the experience of 
a quarter of a century in the Papacy, partly of an excep- 
tional memory and partly also of his direct personal in- 
terest in Gibbons and Gibbons' country throughout his 
reign. To Pius, Venice had been the world; but he was 
ready to face his new responsibilities with courage and de- 
cision, and he wished now to learn what had seemed use- 
less to him before. 

He asked many questions of Gibbons ; said that he had 
met few Americans, and that those with whom he had 
come in contact had impressed him favorably; and ex- 
pressed deep interest in the welfare of the country and 
the character of its people. The Pope renewed his ex- 
pressions of affection for the American Cardinal, who 
had seen clearly when others in the recent conclave had 
doubted. He seemed to feel that in Gibbons he had a 
helper upon whom he could lean with implicit confidence, 
at a time when the necessity was imposed upon him of 
extreme care in weighing advice that was given him be- 
fore accepting it. 

Gibbons saw how necessary it was to enlist the interest 
of Pius in the Catholic University, whose continued prog- 
ress was dependent upon the favor of the head of the 
Church, His heart was in his words as he pleaded for 
"the child of his age," and Pius listened to him with 
ready sympathy. The Pope acceded to the wish of Gib- 
bons by promising that he would issue a brief in behalf 
of the university, and would follow its development with 
interest and whole-hearted support. 

It was desired also that an exhibit of Vatican relics 


should be prepared for the St. Louis Exposition soon to 
be held in honor of the centennial of the Louisiana Pur- 
chase, in which project the support of Gibbons had been 
enlisted. One of the first Pontifical acts of Pius was to 
direct that these relics be sent to St. Louis as a symbol 
of the Papal favor for an observance that marked the 
transfer to the American flag of a great region first pene- 
trated by Catholic missionaries and explorers. 



After the tension of the Papal conclave and the events 
which it had brought in its train, Gibbons felt the need 
of recuperation. He spent several days at Castle Gan- 
dolfo, the summer home of the American College, after 
which he left Rome for Switzerland. At Territet, on 
the Lake of Geneva, he remained for ten days as the guest 
of Francis de Sales Jenkins, a member of a Catholic fam- 
ily of Maryland identified with that State since the days 
of the Calverts, among whose members were some of the 
most devoted personal friends of Gibbons. This beau- 
tiful home, which was called "The Villa Maryland," was 
near the Castle of Chillon, made famous by Byron; and 
there amid congenial surroundings the Cardinal was able 
to regain his strength rapidly. From Territet, he pro- 
ceeded to Houlgate, Normandy, where he was the guest 
of Leopold Huffer for a time at the "Villa Columbia." 

The extent of the Cardinal's influence upon the decision 
of the conclave was not then known in America, nor in- 
deed anywhere outside of a small circle in Rome. The 
fact that he had been the first American to participate in 
the election of a Pope was, however, sufficient in itself to 
excite the keen interest of his fellow-countrymen; and 
when he returned to Baltimore September 24 the city was 

moved to acclaim him as never before. By this time he 



had become beyond all doubt a popular hero in his own 

Even though the details of what he had accomplished 
in behalf of his fellow-men were unknown or obscured 
as a result of the secrecy which necessarily surrounded 
many of his actions in inner councils, the people had 
obtained in an indefinable way a true sense of what 
he was and what he stood for. The admiration of Cath- 
olic Americans for him was, of course, based chiefly upon 
the fact that no man whom their country had contributed 
to the Church had attained such influence as he in shaping 
her weightier decisions. He was now before the world 
in a clear light as one of the leaders of the Church who 
stood with a small group at the head of all others in his 
time; one of three, the others being Leo and Manning, 
who had been most potent in guiding the Church 
during Leo's reign; one whose American patriotism, 
tried and true, presented in their minds an example 
which few other men had ever presented, a patriotism 
which had burned with a strong and steady light 
so that all might see while statesmen and causes rose 
and fell; one whose advocacy of the institutions of 
his country inside and outside the Church had estab- 
lished America in the eyes of Europeans in a posi- 
tion which they had never before acknowledged her to 
possess; the foremost influence in preventing the essential 
integrity of American constitutional government from 
being threatened by the sudden wave of immigration 
which had caused alarm to some of the stoutest souls. 

He stood before them now as a friend and counselor of 
Popes and Presidents, of churchmen and statesmen in 


high places; above all, as one who spoke sanely and 
calmly and convincingly upon the larger questions that 
divided the thoughts of men, and whose voice Americans 
were readier to hear with respect and approval than any 
other voice in the land. 

Thus, while there was inevitable obscurity in the pub- 
lic mind regarding the processes by which the Catholic 
Church in the deliberations of her foremost leaders shapes 
her decrees intended to elevate the lives of men, and while 
many of Gibbons' acts of participation in decisions of 
State relating to his own country shared that obscurity, 
the people seemed to have formed the same judgment of 
him as if they had known all. They rated him for what 
he was and, as Americans always do, rated him largely 
for character. Non-Catholics shared with Catholics their 
complete confidence in his sincerity and earnestness, no 
less than in the striking ability which alone could have 
enabled him to attain what they saw he had attained. 

In the eyes of Americans he stood almost isolated as a 
sage and a patriot; as one raised to a height and yet living 
and moving among his fellow countrymen without vanity 
or pomp as one of them, sharing in the trials and prob- 
lems of the humblest as well as the greatest, a servant of 
God and a friend of mankind. 

If the test of a man be the esteem in which he is held 
at home by those who know him best, surely no one met 
that test more fully than Gibbons. To Baltimore he had 
become the beloved first citizen. His fame overshadowed 
the city and in their affection for him, unrestrained by 
arbitrary boundaries of creed, the people of Baltimore 
felt that they shared in that fame. When any great ac- 


complishment was to be undertaken by his neighbors, they 
thought of him first. His name must head the list of 
those to whom they would look for discriminating ap- 
proval and powerful support. In their eyes he embodied 
the loftiest type which they could produce, the citizen 
par excellence^ the master spirit who walked among them 
and yet who walked so simply that they felt that he was 
brother as well as chief. 

The city could not be restrained in its exuberance when 
he returned from the conclave. When he arrived at the 
railroad station, Mayor McLane and a full representation 
of the civic authorities were waiting to receive him, while 
outside the building dense crowds filled the air with a din 
of cheering similar to that which would have marked the 
visit of a President. The Mayor expressed the feelings 
of all in the following speech of greeting: 

"Your Eminence has already received a most hearty 
welcome, most properly extended to you on your arrival 
in this country by the members of the society in which 
you have shown so much interest, and to whose success 
you have contributed so much. It becomes my pleasant 
duty to extend to you a wider welcome, which embraces 
the citizens of Baltimore generally, of all creeds and 
conditions, who, one and all, cherish the deepest rever- 
ence and respect for your great and noble character. 

"When the news of the death of the Pope reached us, 
it was received with a feeling of apprehension by us on 
account of the arduous strain of your great responsibilities 
in a trying climate, and we feared its influence upon your 
health, and the sympathies of the entire community went 
out to you. To see you return in good health is a great 
pleasure, and, in behalf of my fellow-citizens of Balti- 
more, I extend to you a most hearty welcome and the 


best wishes of the entire community for a long life of 
perfect happiness." 

Judge Heuisler, a Catholic, spoke in the name of the 
members of his faith, when he said : 

"It is true, your Eminence, and happy am I to say it, 
that all the people of America appreciate you, revere you, 
and love you for the work that you have done ; and this 
greeting, while with us but local, will be heard with 
pleasure and with sympathy in all sections of our com- 
mon country. In the presence of profound emotions, all 
hearts must speak from out the window of the soul; the 
eye must flash the welcome and the lips be dumb; and I 
will say no more. Cead mille fcdlthe — a hundred thou- 
sand welcomes." 

The Cardinal, greatly moved, responded with a few 
words of thanks voiced from the depths of his soul. 

He had been informed of the program of welcome be- 
fore his arrival in the city, and, accompanied by the city 
officials and others, took his place in a carriage in the 
line of a great parade of church and civic organizations 
which escorted him to the Cathedral. Every window 
along the street was crowded with people who applauded. 
After the American fashion, he bowed continuously as 
his carriage moved slowly along, and did not fail to ac- 
knowledge the numerous salutes from personal friends, 
bestowing a smile upon each of them whom he recognized 
in the crowds. 

Arriving at the Cathedral, a group of young women, 
dressed in white and carrying American flags, greeted 
him and one of them presented to him a bouquet of sixty- 
nine roses, one for each year of his life. Taking his place 


upon the portico of the Cathedral, with the Mayor beside 
him, he reviewed the parade. 

After the procession was over the Cardinal entered the 
Cathedral and spoke simply to his friends and neighbors. 
He told them of his travels; of some of his experiences 
in Rome ; and did not fail to mention that the American 
pilgrims had been the first to be received by the new 

"And now," he remarked, "I am most happy to be 
home again." 

He commended the new Pope to the prayers of all, 
and bestowed his blessing upon the multitude. Solemn 
benediction followed. Proceeding to his residence in the 
rear of the church, he found another cheering crowd 
massed in front of it, and was obliged to appear at the 
bay window from which he so often reviewed parades and 
from which now he expressed his thanks for the ovation. 

It had long been his custom after returning from trips 
abroad to preach at the Cathedral upon his experiences. 
On Sunday, October 4, a great congregation assembled 
to hear a sermon from him in which he gave his impres- 
sions of the Papal conclave. As always at the Cathedral 
during his long tenure as Archbishop, hundreds of Prot- 
estants were present when he preached. 

He began by saying that twelve nations had been rep- 
resented by the sixty-two Cardinals who had taken part 
in the conclave, and that "this was the first time in the 
history of the Christian religion that the United States, 
or any part of this western hemisphere, was ever associ- 
ated with the other nations of Christendom in selecting 
a successor to the Prince of the Apostles. He added : 


"I should not be surprised if in the next conclave the 
Catholic Church of the United States were to be repre- 
sented by several members of the Sacred College, so that 
the number of Cardinals from our country may be com- 
mensurate with the population, the grandeur and the 
commanding influence of the nation, and may be in keep- 
ing also with the numerical strength of our Hierarchy 
and laity and the splendor and progress of our religious 
and charitable institutions." ^ 

The Cardinal spoke of the "high order of intelligence, 
great discretion, large experience, and integrity of char- 
acter" which had marked the Cardinals as he had ob- 
served them, and added: 

"The Cardinals, however, are not angels, but men, sub- 
ject to the usual infirmities and temptations of flesh and 
blood. And because they are not exempt from the frail- 
ties incident to mankind, and because of the peerless dig- 
nity of the Supreme Pontificate, as well as of the tremen- 
dous responsibility it involves, every precaution that 
human ingenuity and experience could suggest had been 
availed of in this, as in preceding conclaves, so that no 
cloud should rest over the election of the successful can- 

"I was present at the conclave and took part in its 
proceedings, and without revealing its secrets, I can most 
positively assure you and the American people that the 
election of the Pope was conducted with absolute free- 
dom, with the utmost fairness and impartiality, and with 
a dignity and solemnity becoming the august assemblage 
of the Sacred College, and the momentous consequences 
of their suffrages." 

* At the time of the election of Benedict XV, the successor of Pius X, 
there were four American Cardinals, counting Cardinal Falconio, who 
was an American citi/en. 


Gibbons carefully omitted to mention his own part in 
the solution of the deadlock which had confronted the 
conclave when the election of Rampolla became impos- 
sible and Sarto had refused to accept elevation. He told 
of Sarto's plea "that you shall forget my name," and 
remarked : 

"All were moved by the modesty and the transparent 
sincerity of the man. When he resumed his seat, his 
cheeks were suffused with blushes, tears were gushing 
from his eyes, and his body trembled with emotion. 
Never did a prisoner make greater efforts to escape from 
his confinement than did Cardinal Sarto to escape from 
the yoke of the Papacy. With his Divine Master, he 
exclaimed: 'Father, if it be possible, let this chalice 
pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be 
done I' When his election was officially announced, his 
florid countenance assumed a deathly pallor and restora- 
tives were applied to save him from fainting." 

He characterized the new Pontiff as "a man of God 
and a man of the people," adding that the virtues of 
humility, sincerity, candor and benevolence were stamped 
upon his features. 

Gibbons proceeded to point out that the Papacy was 
the most ancient of all existing dynasties. He continued : 

"The influence of the Papacy is more far-reaching than 
that of any earthly ruler. Kings and emperors and civil 
magistrates exact external compliance with the laws of 
the land. They cannot control the sanctuary of the heart. 
The Sovereign Pontiff, though he has no army to enforce 
his commands, makes and interprets laws which bind the 
consciences of men. 

"The rule of the successors of Peter has been the most 


beneficent in the cause of civilization and humanity. 
When the Roman Empire was dissolved, the ark of the 
Church, under the guidance of the Sovereign Pontiifs, 
floated triumphantly on the troubled waters beneath 
which the monuments of centuries had lain entombed. 

"The Papacy has contributed more than any civil gov- 
ernment to the intellectual progress of mankind. If 
Europe is today immeasurably in advance of Asia, in 
literature, in the arts and sciences, is it not because 
Europe was more in touch than Asia with the Roman Pon- 
tiff, and felt the impress of his strong but tender hand*? 

"Were it not for the unceasing vigilance of the Bishops 
of Rome, the crescent instead of the Cross would have sur- 
mounted the domes and temples of Europe; Mohamme- 
danism instead of Christianity would be the dominant 
religion of that continent, and our fathers who came from 
Europe would have brought with them their religion and 
their laws from the Koran instead of the Bible. 

"Among the Pontiffs who have sat in the Chair of 
Peter for the last three centuries, Leo XIII, whom Pius 
X succeeded, stands pre-eminent. He has indelibly 
stamped the impress of his name and genius on the civ- 
ilized world. He has written Encyclicals to the nations 
of Christendom, treating on the most momentous subjects 
of the day. He has dealt not with abstract or speculative 
questions, but with topics affecting the social and politii 
cal as well as the moral and religious well-being of the 
world. He has conclusively shown that he was always 
in touch with humanity and could say with the Roman 
of old: ""Nil humani a ?ne aliejium putd''' — 'Every sub- 
ject affecting the interests of mankind is dear to me.' 

"Need we therefore wonder that Leo's name was re- 
vered and loved not only by his own spiritual children, 
but also by persons of every creed, and by every man 
who had at heart the uplifting of his fellow-being'? 

"While living, he was everywhere honored because his 


words were a tower of strength in the cause of Christian- 
ity and stable government. Kings, emperors, and princes 
of every belief vied with one another in paying homage to 
him and in visiting him. But what he more esteemed, he 
was loved and cherished by the sovereign people. 

"Leo has lifted up the Catholic Church to a higher 
plane of dignity and strength than it had attained since 
the days of Leo X. He has infused new life into. the mis- 
sionary world. He has quickened with renewed zeal 
every Bishop, priest and layman that fell within the scope 
of his influence. He has left to his successor the pre- 
cious heritage of a blameless life and an Apostolic char- 

"What a subject of profound reflection is presented 
by the contrast between the funeral rites of the late Pon- 
tiff and the coronation of his successor ! All that was left 
on earth of the great Leo at his obsequies were his emaci- 
ated and shrivelled remains. That voice which had 
thrilled millions throughout the world was hushed for- 
ever. Those hands which were daily raised to bless lay 
motionless on his breast. The same liturgical prayers 
were chanted, and the same sacrifice of propitiation was 
offered for him that are employed in behalf of the hum- 
blest layman. Supplications were poured forth to the 
Throne of Grace, not for Leo the saint, nor Leo the 
scholar and statesman, but for Leo the humble penitent, 
who like all the children of Adam, could be saved only 
through the redeeming merits of Jesus Christ." 

Gibbons described the scene when a newly elected Pon- 
tiff is borne in triumph into St. Peter's basilica, when a 
master of ceremonies goes before him with a wand to 
which is attached a vase containing burning tow, crying 
out from time to time ''Sic transit gloria mundir He 
concluded : 


"I am sure, however, that the humble Pontiff did not 
need this reminder, nor was he elated or dazzled by the 
splendor of the pageant; but, like his Master who wept 
on entering in triumph the city of Jerusalem, Pius was 
overwhelmed by the contemplation of the heavy cross he 
was destined to bear through life. . . . 

"What a commentary is all this on the vanity of 
human glory! How eloquently it proclaims the truth 
that God alone is great, and that nothing can satisfy 
man's ambition except that which is eternal." 

Pius issued the promised brief in behalf of the Catholic 
University among the first state papers produced in the 
course of his reign. It was dated September 9, 1903, 
and addressed to Gibbons as chancellor of the institution. 
Gibbons had asked him to sanction the proposal that a 
collection be taken up in all the churches throughout the 
United States annually for ten years on the first Sunday 
in Advent, or the first convenient Sunday thereafter, for 
the support of the University. Pius, in his brief, gave his 
hearty sanction to this plan for "enhancing the dignity 
and enlarging the influence of this noble seat of learn- 
ing." He declared it to be his earnest wish that the 
Bishops and laity should "labor strenuously for the good 
of the university." 

Pius wrote several times to Gibbons that the American 
Cardinal's prediction that the Church in the United 
States would be one of the greatest sources of consolation 
to him during his term in the supreme Pontificate had not 
only been verified, but that the results had far exceeded 
his anticipations. 

The Pope repeated this personally a few years later 


when Gibbons visited Rome ^ before attending the Inter- 
national Eucharistic Congress in London, at which he 
had been invited to preach. Soon after his arrival in 
the Eternal City, on that occasion, Gibbons was greeted 
by two hundred Americans who happened to be there on 
a pilgrimage. Later in an audience with Pius, he went 
over current problems of the Church in America, and the 
Pope conveyed his warm appreciation of the progress that 
had been attained. 

The viewpoint of Pius, Gibbons found, was still that 
of the ecclesiastic, rather than that of the statesman, in 
contrast to Leo, with whom he had weathered so many 
storms. The man who now ruled as Pope appeared to 
be unchanged in his personality by his experiences in 
that office. He deplored his confinement in the Vatican, 
and expressed his keen regret that he was never again to 
see the Venetian canals. His sympathy and support were 
still as freely extended as before to the Cardinal who had 
done so much to bring about his election. When in the 
course of Gibbons' visit to Rome he was stricken with a 
serious temporary ailment incident to the climate, while 
spending a short time at the summer home of the Ameri- 
can College, the Pope sent an expression of deep sym- 
pathy and asked to be constantly informed of his 

Gibbons recovered fully in a short time. After a rest 
in Switzerland, where he was the guest of Benziger, the 
artist, at Brunnen, on Lake Lucerne, he was able to pro- 
ceed to London, where he preached in Westminster Cathe- 
dral on the last day of the Eucharistic Congress, Septem- 


ber 13, a sermon which was one of the principal events 
of that gathering. He exhorted fraternity between Eng- 
lish and American Catholics, saying: 

"Maryland, the mother of the Church in the United 
States, was founded by English Catholics. Leonard 
Calvert, the brother of Lord Baltimore, and the leader 
of the English Catholic colony, desirous of securing 
liberty of worship for his co-religionists, sailed with them 
from Cowes, Isle of Wight, in the Ark and Dove — fitting 
messengers to carry the fortunes of the pioneer pilgrims. 
They reached their destination on the banks of the 
Potomac, in 1634. 

"This colony of British Catholics was the first to es- 
tablish on American soil the blessings of civil and reli- 
gious liberty. While the Puritans of New England perse- 
cuted other Christians, and while the Episcopalians of 
Virginia persecuted Catholics and Puritans, Catholic 
Maryland gave freedom and hospitality to Puritans and 
Episcopalians alike. In the words of Bancroft : 

" ' The foundation of the colony of Maryland was 
peacefully and happily laid. Within six months it had 
advanced more than Virginia had done in as many years. 
. . . But far more memorable was the character of the 
Maryland institutions. Every other country in the world 
had persecuting laws; but through the benign adminis- 
tration of the government of that province, no person 
professing to believe in Jesus Christ was permitted to be 
molested on account of religion. Under the munificence 
and superintending mildness of Lord Baltimore, a dreary 
wilderness was soon quickened with swarming life and 
the activity of prosperous settlements : the Roman Catho- 
lics, who were oppressed by the laws of England, were 
sure to find a peaceful asylum in the quiet harbors of the 
Chesapeake; and there, too, Protestants were sheltered 
from Protestant intolerance. Such were the beautiful 


auspices under which Maryland started into being. Its 
history is the history of benevolence, gratitude, and tolera- 
tion.' " 

Gibbons went on to describe "the chain of hallowed 
associations" between the Catholic Church of England 
and that of America. He recalled that Carroll, the first 
American Bishop, had been consecrated in 1790 in the 
chapel of Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshire, the seat of 
Thomas Weld, and that one of the acolytes who had 
served on that occasion had been a son of the master of 
the castle, who afterwards became Cardinal Weld. The 
Rev. Charles Plowden, of the Society of Jesus, an inti- 
mate friend of Carroll, had preached the consecration 
sermon in which he had foreshadowed the growth and 
development of the Church in America with a vision 
which Gibbons called prophetic. The American Car- 
dinal continued: 

"But there are other and higher reasons than personal 
friendship to justify the participation by American prel- 
ates in the ceremonies of today. Though we are sepa- 
rated from you by an immense ocean, we are united with 
you, thank God, in the heritage of a common faith. We, 
across the Atlantic, claim, as well as you, to be the spir- 
itual children of Gregory, Augustine and Patrick, of 
Alban and Venerable Bede, of Anselm and Thomas of 
Canterbury, of Peter and Pius; we have with you one 
Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. 

"Indeed, our kinship is stronger and more enduring 
than that which is created by flesh and blood. When I 
entered your Cathedral this morning, I could say to you 
all, in the name of my countrymen, and in the language 
of the Apostle of the Gentiles : 'We are no more strangers 


and foreigners, but we are fellow citizens with the saints, 
and of the household of God, built upon the foundation 
of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being 
the chief cornerstone.' This sentiment inspires me with 
confidence, and makes me feel at home; for, I am ad- 
dressing you as brothers in the faith, and I can speak to 
you with all the warmth and affection of the same 
Apostle : 'My mouth is open to you,' fellow-Catholics of 
England, 'my heart is enlarged.' 

"But we inherit not only the traditions of your Chris- 
tian faith; we inherit also the traditions of your civil 
and political freedom. The great charter of liberty, 
which Cardinal Langton of Canterbury and the English 
Barons wrested from King John, on the plains of Runny- 
mede, is the basis of our constitutional liberties. We 
share with you in the fruit of your victories. 

"We have not only a common heritage of civil and 
political freedom, but we also speak the same language — 
the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare, of Pope and 
Dryden, of Tennyson and Newman. The steady growth 
of the Church in the English-speaking world, during the 
last three centuries, is truly gratifying, and may be con- 
sidered phenomenal. For, whereas, in the sixteenth 
century the number of English-speaking Bishops was 
considerably under thirty there are now upwards of two 
hundred Bishops ruling dioceses where English is the pre- 
vailing language." 

Gibbons commented upon the remarkable proportions 
of the Catholic revival in England in the century just 
passed, saying: 

"I may add that if the Catholic Church is now viewed 
with so much respect and benevolence by the people of 
England, this circumstance may be ascribed in no small 


measure to the fact that the Catholic Hierarchy, and es- 
pecially the three Cardinals who have ruled the diocese 
of Westminster, have not only deported themselves as 
devoted churchmen, but that they had taken a personal, 
loyal, vital interest in every measure that contributed to 
the moral, social and economic welfare of their beloved 

''Over fifty years ago, after the re-establishment of 
the English Catholic Hierarchy, at the synod of Oscott, 
the illustrious Dr. Newman preached a sermon on the 
'Second Spring,' in which, in his own matchless style and 
silvery voice, he spoke of the hopes and prospects of the 
Church in England, after the winter of her tribulations 
had passed away. Had God spared him to our day, with 
what eloquence could he portray to you how the Spring 
had bloomed and ripened into Summer ; and, as a proof of 
this development, he could point to this mystical tree of 
life, under whose stately arches we are all assembled, 
spreading its branches far and wide, so that from hence- 
forth thousands may be sheltered beneath its ample 
shade, and be nourished by its perennial fruit of grace 
and sanctification." 

Though Gibbons had been impressed that Summer had 
followed the "Second Spring" for English Catholics 
which Newman had forecast so eloquently, he could not 
help observing differences which still lingered between 
the attitude toward the Church in his own country, and 
that taken even among so enlightened a people as the 
English. On the day when he preached, it had been 
intended to carry the Host in the procession through the 
streets; but fearing disturbances. Premier Asquith inter- 
posed, and the program was changed. 

Gibbons remained in England for a short time, being 


the guest of the Duke of Norfolk and receiving other 
social honors. Five years had elapsed since Baltimore 
had given him a public reception, and the city's appetite 
was whetted for a new outburst of that kind. Gibbons 
did his best to prevent it and wrote home an earnest re- 
quest that the plans be abandoned; but so great was the 
desire to testify the unique esteem in which he was held 
by his neighbors of all religious faiths, that despite his 
own desires the preparations moved forward with re- 
doubled energy. When he learned that the State of 
Maryland, as well as the city, was to share in the recep- 
tion through its officials, he was somewhat reconciled to 
the plan and reluctantly assented. 

Arriving in Baltimore Saturday, October lo, he was 
greeted by a committee, including Governor Crothers and 
his staff, Mayor Mahool and the City Council, Charles J. 
Bonaparte, then Attorney General of the United States, 
and other prominent persons. The Governor, a Method- 
ist, and the Mayor, an active layman of the Presbyterian 
Church, hailed him with laudatory speeches. He replied, 
as usual, in words of simple kindliness and thankfulness, 
saying : 

"I am profoundly moved by this expression of kind- 
ness. I have no words to convey the deep gratitude that 
fills my heart. When I learned for the first time of this, 
I wrote back to Baltimore, requesting and directing that 
it be abandoned, as I saw no occasion for it ; but when I 
learned that it came from all the people, and that the 
Governor of this liberty-loving State was to take part in 
it, and the Mayor of this city, which I love so dearly, I 
waived all personal feelings." 


Again there was a public parade to the Cathedral, in 
which 15,000 persons took part, including 500 from 
Washington, the capital city being a part of Gibbons' 
jurisdiction as Archbishop of Baltimore. The signifi- 
cance of the scene could not be forgotten by any one who 
looked upon the Cardinal standing upon the portico of 
that beautiful building, the greatest shrine of Catholic 
memories in America, with the executive officers of State 
and city massed around him reviewing the procession, all 
joining in a tribute no less of neighborly love than of 
profound respect for the slender figure in the red robe 
who was the center of it all. Within the edifice the 
Cardinal gave solemn benediction and the Papal blessing. 

Honors were now beginning to be paid him by those 
among whom he had labored with signal success in the 
earlier days of his career. Though a national figure, he 
had always had a singular faculty of taking root wherever 
he was stationed. Not the least of those who held him 
in grateful memory were North Carolinians, many of 
whom then living could recall the days when, in their 
own state as a missionary Bishop, he had exemplified 
those greater traits which had made him one of the prin- 
cipal figures of the world. The North Carolina Society 
of Baltimore, most of whose members were Protestants, 
joined with his other fellow-citizens in the tribute of 
welcome, and presented to him an engrossed address con- 
veying warm compliments and grateful praise. 



Gibbons was one of the first to detect signs of the 
sudden drift toward Socialism in America, which coin- 
cided with the advent of the twentieth century. He 
knew that in every country where the sun shines and the 
rain descends and where men eat bread in the sweat of 
their brows, there were bound to be lean years as well as 
fat years, and that the leap in the population of the 
United States had immensely widened the circle of those 
upon whom the burden of periodical scarcity must weigh. 
That any large proportion of those who dwelt under the 
flag to which he and they owed allegiance should rush 
heedlessly, from the pressure of temporary conditions, 
into ill-considered, and, above all, anti-Christian experi- 
ments, would be, in his mind, an evil of the first magni- 
tude. In the preservation of the calmness and sane 
balance of the people, he saw the only permanent safe- 
guard of democratic institutions. 

Sensing the situation in advance, he felt that the 

Church here must be aroused to resist the threatened 

danger. His position in the Church in America was 

such that if counter action against Socialism was to come, 

he must lead it in order to give it effectiveness. Pius IX, 

the first Pope to come in contact with modern Socialism, 



had'condemned it both in principle and in definite details. 
Leo XIII had done the same thing, and in his encyclicals 
Quod Apostolici Muneris and Rerum Novarutn had set 
forth in clear terms the resistance of Christianity to the 
pure materialism which was the professed ideal of the 

In the first of these encyclicals, issued soon after his 
accession to the Pontificate in 1878, Leo declared that 
"although the Socialists, turning to evil use the Gospel 
itself so as to deceive more readily the unwary, have been 
wont to twist it to their meaning, still so striking is the 
disagreement between their criminal teachings and the 
pure doctrine of Christ that no greater can exist." He set 
forth that "equality among men consists in this, that one 
and all, possessing the same nature, are called to the 
sublime dignity of being sons of God; and, moreover, that 
one and the same end being set before all, each and every 
one has to be judged according to the same laws, and to 
have punishments or rewards meted out according to in- 
dividual deserts. There is, however, an inequality of 
right and authority which emanates from the Author of 
nature Himself." 

He declared that "the State, like the Church, should 
form one body comprising many members, some excelling 
others in rank and importance, but all alike necessary to 
one another ahd solicitous for the common welfare." 

The encyclical Rerum Novarum was the one in which 
Leo, while taking direct issue with Socialism as a remedy 
for the ills of the working classes, reflected and fully 
endorsed the views of the right of labor to organize for 
bettering its economic condition which had been set forth 


in Gibbons' masterly plea in behalf of the Knights of 
Labor. He declared that the Socialists in contending 
that individual possessions should become the common 
property of all, to be administered by the State or muni- 
cipal bodies, were "working on the poor man's envy of 
the rich." If the system which they proposed were ac- 
tually set up, he held, "the workingman himself would 
be among the first to suffer." He rejected their proposals 
as "emphatically unjust, because they would rob the law- 
ful possessor, bring State action into a sphere not within 
its competence, and create utter confusion in the com- 
munity." The program of "class war" boldly proclaimed 
by the Socialists was, of course, the antithesis of the basis 
of Christianity for, as Leo declared: 

"If Christian precepts prevail, the respective classes 
will not only be united in the bonds of friendship, but 
also in those of brotherly love. For they will under- 
stand and feel that all men are children of the same 
common Father, who is God; that all have alike the same 
last end, which is God himself, who alone can make 
either men or angels absolutely and perfectly happy." 

Leo set forth that "private ownership is in accordance 
with the law of nature." He declared that the Socialists' 
plan "would throw open the door to envy, to mutual 
invective, and to discord," adding: 

"The sources of wealth themselves would run dry, 
for no one would have any interest in exerting his 
talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about 
which they entertain pleasant dreams, would be in reality 
the leveling down of all to a like condition of misery and 


Pius X had followed Leo in condemning Socialism. 
The philosophers and theologians of the Church upheld 
the view of the Pontiffs unanimously, as did experts of 
the Catholic laity on economics and sociology. Their 
primary view was that there was an antagonism between 
Christianity and the principle of Socialism. In every 
Catholic country they found Socialism anti-Christian in 
both theory and practise; and they held that convincing 
evidence of this was afforded by the utterances of the 
organs and speakers who spread the propaganda of the 
new cult. 

No Socialist could have been animated by a greater de- 
sire to uplift the working classes than Gibbons; but in 
starting out to seek remedies, he took the road leading to 
God, and the Socialist, in his eyes, took the road leading 
away from God. He did not wish to condemn, of course, 
all the views which some Socialists expressed, but the 
fundamental, subversive doctrines of Marxism held by 
most American Socialists appalled him as the negation 
of Divine law, justice and reason. He had shown himself 
ready to defend, against the most powerful opposition, 
the right of labor to combine for its protection, and he 
had advocated legislation that would safeguard labor's 
interests. This predisposed him all the more to solicitude 
in saving the workingman from destroying the fruits of 
the struggle in labor's behalf by wandering off in pursuit 
of impractical remedies which invoked its name. 

Besides, he suspected that, so far as America was con- 
cerned, many propagandists of Socialism used it as a mask 
behind which to hide a sullen hostility to the institutions 
of the United States. For many years after Socialism 


had become a political force in Europe it had gained but 
the slenderest foothold of importance in the United 
States. Not until 1889 was the Socialist-Labor Party- 
organized at Chicago, and its first Presidential candidate 
was put forward in the election in 1892. In that year the 
party could command only 21,164 votes out of the mil- 
lions of electors by whose suffrages Mr. Cleveland was 
chosen. Four years later, it was again in the field with a 
candidate for President who received 36,274 votes. 
With the birth of the Social Democracy of America in 
1897, which absorbed a considerable portion of the So- 
cialist-Labor Party, the Socialist Party as it has since 
been known in the United States came into being. In 
the Presidential election of 1900 the Social-Democratic 
Party poHed 87,814 votes, and the Socialist-Labor Party 
39,739. Despite the large proportionate increase in this 
showing of strength, there was nothing particularly dis- 
concerting in the figures. But when the Socialists polled 
402,283 votes in the election of 1904, Gibbons read the 
signs of the times and prepared to throw the whole force 
of the Church against the further progress of the move- 

It was evident to him that at last the Socialists had 
become the nucleus of extreme discontent in the United 
States, as well as elsewhere, and this meant more than he 
or any other man could fathom. Both his duty to religion 
and his duty to his country, it appeared to him, impelled 
him to summon the most powerful influence available in 
order to stifle the movement before it could attain a de- 
gree of strength which might be considered a formidable 
obstacle to the orderly progress of America. 


He was not unmindful that there was an element of 
support for the movement from native Americans, but he 
saw with misgivings that the great majority of its adher- 
ents in this country were men of foreign birth who had 
been disappointed in illusions cherished in their imagina- 
tive minds about the meaning of that equality of oppor- 
tunity which was the American ideal. Seeing still with 
European eyes, herded together by force of circumstances, 
which Gibbons deplored, with men of their own kind in 
the larger cities of America, they abated none of the re- 
sentment against existing conditions which they had 
felt in their diverse home lands. 

Gibbons, as always in setting out to accomplish a large 
object, seized the opportune time. Thoughts of the 
growth of Socialism filled his mind as preparations were 
made to celebrate in 1906 the centenary of the laying of 
the cornerstone of the Baltimore Cathedral and the twen- 
ty-fifth anniversary of his accession to the archbishopric. 
His own anniversary was on October 3, 1902, and he had 
been urged in the early part of that year to consent to 
an imposing celebration of the event in conformity with 
the custom of the Church. To be the central figure in 
another demonstration at which praise would be showered 
upon him by no means accorded with his wishes. He felt 
that his share of such things had already been too much, 
not knowing that the greatest of them, despite his own 
desires, were still to come. 

In his humility he wished to put aside thoughts of 
self, lest his mind be diverted from the intense striving 
which seemed always to lead him on, no less at the age of 
sixty-eight years than in his earlier days. How to avoid 


a celebration in 1902 without offending many who wished 
to do him honor was indeed a problem of no little diffi- 
culty; but at last he had a thought that solved it. He 
would combine his silver jubilee as Archbishop with the 
centenary of his dearly loved Cathedral, which he had 
come to feel was a part of himself. Reluctantly his plan 
was accepted by those who had been eager to make a 
great fete of his jubilee; but when the date of the Cathe- 
dral centenary drew near, it was found that he had care- 
fully eliminated his own personality from the program. 

It was fitting that Gibbons should speak through others 
at the celebration itself, and he delivered his own mes- 
sage in advance of that event. Preaching in the Cathedral 
February 4, 1906, he declared his position and that of 
the Church with regard to Socialism in a manner which 
riveted the attention of the nation. Inequality of rank, 
station and wealth, he said, were inevitable. The much- 
discussed statement in the Declaration of Independence 
that "all men are created equal," he interpreted to mean 
that all men are subject to the same political and moral 
laws; that all enjoy the same air and rain and sunshine 
of heaven and that all are equal before the law. He ex- 
claimed : 

"The most mischievous and dangerous individual to be 
met with in the community is the demagogue, who is 
habitually sowing broadcast the seeds of discontent 
among the people. He is disseminating the baneful doc- 
trines of Socialism, which would bring all men down to 
a dead level, would paralyze industry and destroy all 
healthy competition. . . . He has not the capacity to 
discern that after all due allowance is made for human 


energy, this varied condition of society must result from 
a law of life established by an overruling Providence." 

In studying the material world, he said, he had been 
deeply impressed to observe that all the works of God 
were marked with the stamp of variety and inequality. 
The Almighty never cast any two creatures in the same 
mold. He continued : 

"Ascending from the natural to the spiritual world, 
from the order of nature to the order of grace, we know 
there is not only variety, but that there are also grades 
of distinction among the angels in heaven. The angelic 
Hierarchy is composed of nine distinct choirs. There are 
angels and archangels, thrones and dominations, princi- 
palities and powers, virtues, cherubim and seraphim. 
These angelic hosts ascend in rank, one above the other. 
One order of angels excels in sublimity of intelligence, or 
in intensity of love, or in the dignity of the mission as- 
signed to them. 

"And, in like manner, God is unequal in the distribu- 
tion of his graces to mankind. He gives in large measure 
to one and in less measure to another. To one He grants 
five talents, to another He grants two, and to another He 
gives one talent. When the Divine Husbandman hires 
His laborers to work in His vineyard, He recompenses 
those who labored but one hour as much as He does those 
'who have borne the burden of the day and the heat.' 
The reward is altogether disproportioned to the toil. If 
you complain of God's discrimination, Christ will answer 
you: 'My friend, I do thee no wrong. Take what is 
thine and go thy way. Is it not lawful for me to do what 
I will? Is thine eye evil because I am good? What 
claim have you on my justice? Is not all that you pos- 


sess of nature or of grace the gratuitous gift of my 
bounty^' . . . 

"Nevertheless, among God's elect there is no jealousy 
or discontent. Those who enjoy a high grade of bliss do 
not look with disdain on their inferiors; and those who 
are in a lower grade of felicity do not envy those above 
them. All are happy and contented, and praise the God 
of bounty for his gratuitous mercies. 

"There is a tendency in our nature to chafe under 
authority. Thomas Paine published a well-known work 
on The Rights of Man.' He had nothing to say on the 
rights of God and the duties of man. A certain clergy- 
man wrote a volume some years ago on 'The Rights of 
the Clergy.' From the beginning to the end of the work 
he said nothing on the duties and obligations of the 
clergy. The majority of mankind are so intent on their 
rights that they have no consideration for their responsi- 
bilities. If all of us had a deep sense of our sacred duties, 
we should not fail to come by our rights." 

The surroundings under which this dominant note of 
the Cathedral celebration was amplified at the event it- 
self on Sunday, April 29, were such as to give it the ut- 
most force as a declaration by the Catholic Church in 
America. Archbishop Falconio, who had succeeded Mar- 
tinelli as Papal Delegate, nine other Archbishops, fifty- 
six Bishops, four Abbots and about eight hundred priests 
assembled at the fountain head of the mother See. Arch- 
bishop Glennon, the gifted head of the archdiocese of St. 
Louis, preaching at the service of pontifical vespers on 
that day, voiced the thoughts of all that gathering of 
leaders when he said: 

"The social fabric appears today to be in imminent 
danger, because old principles are ignored and old founda- 


tions are attacked. What was held as law, is regarded 
now as injustice; what was held as government, is now 
deemed tyranny. It were folly to deny that the shadow 
of Socialism is hanging over the land, and, while learned 
men are busy pointing out its unreasonableness, its injus- 
tice, its lack of feasibility, the shadow deepens. And yet 
we fear not. The Church has a message for these com- 
ing years. Standing by that Cross, the Church would 
teach an equality that mere forms of poverty and wealth 
could not affect." 

Archbishop Ryan, of Philadelphia, the preacher at the 
Pontifical Mass with which the celebration was opened, 
dealt with the general subject of social discontent from 
another angle, by freely admitting the existence of seri- 
ous evils in America which needed to be corrected, and 
in the correction of which Catholics were ready to share 
fully. He said : 

"We justly laud the institutions and spirit of our coun- 
try, but indiscriminate praise is no evidence of genuine, 
rational patriotism. On the contrary, it is often danger- 
ous and holds out false security. . . . Marvelous as has 
been our progress in a single century, there is the greater 
need to preserve what we have gained and to correct 
where we have been deficient. Some have stated, and 
with a show of reason, that our leading, radical fault has 
been, and is, love of money, amounting to national ava- 
rice, and our eagerness in both the natural and religious 
order should be directed to neutralize or, at least, to mod- 
erate this tendency. 

"But I can not believe that love of money is the pre- 
dominant fault of the American people. They are too 
noble and generous a people to be a nation of misers. 
They freely give what they freely get, and are often prod- 
igal in their generosity. No, I believe that ambition, 


pride and inordinate independence and self-reliance are 
our most dangerous foes. Humility is becoming a name 
for pious weakness, and ambition is no longer a sin. The 
desire to be unknown is considered foolishness. . . . 

"There are three great and increasing evils in our day — 
one affecting the individual ; the second, the family, and 
the third, the state. I mean suicide, divorce and com- 
munism, leading to anarchy." 

Gibbons confined his own part in the main celebration 
to felicitations upon the progress of the Catholic faith 
during the century which had elapsed since the corner- 
stone of the Cathedral had been laid. The Pope had con- 
veyed his share of these felicitations in a letter ^ sent for 
the occasion, which read : 

"To OUR Beloved Son, James Gibbons, 

"Archbishop of Baltimore^ Cardinal Priest of the Title 
of St. Mary, across the Tiber: 

"Beloved son, health and Apostolic benediction. 

"When the first Archbishop of Baltimore, one hundred 
years ago, laid the corner-stone of the Cathedral, he laid, 
we may truly say, the foundation upon which the Church 
of America was to rise to its full and glorious height. 
For, whether we consider the ever increasing number of 
priests ordained within its walls, the Bishops there conse- 
crated, the national councils there celebrated or the vari- 
ous magnificent solemnities or ecclesiastical functions 
which it has witnessed, all have happily found, as it were, 
their home in the Cathedral of Baltimore. 

"Happily, we say, and ever with the promise of better 
things, as is proven by the extension of the Hierarchy ; by 
the growth of the Catholic population; by the peaceful 

* Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


state of religion, your steadfast union with the See of 
Rome and by the manifold consolations which our heart 
has gathered from your achievements. Hence, we deem 
it worthy of our highest approval that you propose to 
commemorate with general rejoicing so signal an event. 
We need not tell you with what sentiments of good will 
and of heartfelt interest we share in this celebration. 
You are all aware that we have always most ardently 
adopted and are now equally eager to adopt whatsoever 
may avail to enhance the honor of our religion among the 
American people. 

"Our eagerness herein is the greater because we are sure 
that you will respond, with common accord and endeavor, 
to the invitations which we, prompted by the memory of 
what you have accomplished for religion, extend to you 
on this timely and joyous occasion in urging the American 
people to still greater efforts in behalf of our Catholic 
faith. This exhortation we repeat in all earnestness, 
knowing full well that our words must aim not only at 
advancing the cause of religion, but also at furthering the 
public weal. Intent, therefore, as you now are, upon ex- 
tolling the sacred memories of your forefathers, and set- 
ting forth the glories of your faith, we offer you our sin- 
cere congratulations and bestow upon you the praise that 
you fully deserve, both by your zeal in organizing this 
public celebration and by the habitual attitude of mind 
therein displayed. You manifest, indeed, a temper that 
we ardently desire to see cultivated by all Catholics — a 
temper, namely, which holds within itself, strong and full 
of promise, the hope of the future. 

"Right joyously, then, we express our wishes for the 
prosperity of your churches and the success of this cen- 
tenary observance. At the same time, as a pledge of 
heavenly graces and a token of our deep affection, we 
impart most lovingly our Apostolic benediction to you, 


the Bishops, the clergy and the whole American 

"Given at St. Peter's, Rome, on the second day of 
March, 1906, in the third year of our pontificate. 

"Pius P. P. X." 

Although the Cardinal had sought to efface himself 
from the festivities, he was not able to do so altogether. 
At a dinner which was given at St. Mary's Seminary in 
honor of the visiting prelates, the Papal Delegate con- 
veyed to him the warmest congratulations upon his silver 
jubilee, expressing the hope that he might long be spared 
to continue his work for humanity. 

On the evening of the next day there was a reception 
to the Hierarchy by Cardinal Gibbons and the clergy of 
the archdiocese at a large public hall. Governor War- 
field, of Maryland, and Mayor Timamus, of Baltimore, 
friends and supporters of Gibbons, lent their presence to 
the event. Bishop Donahue, of Wheeling, who had spent 
years as a priest in Gibbons' household, spoke from inti- 
mate and discriminating knowledge when in an address 
at the meeting he said of the Cardinal : 

"His life and achievements have shed undying luster 
on the Church for all time. He is a Prince of the Church; 
he is also one of the plainest and most democratic citi- 
zens of the land. His mind can rise to and grasp mo- 
mentous questions of Church and State, yet with children 
he can be a child in playfulness and glee. With the wise, 
he is wise; with the simple, simple; simple in his tastes 
and habits of life, simple in demeanor, and a friend to 
the poor and helpless. I doubt if ever churchman trod 
the soil of America who has endeared himself to more 


None knew better than that large gathering of Bishops 
that Gibbons was wise with the wise and simple with the 
simple. He had been to them leader and friend for 
more than twenty-five years. The thoughts that rose in 
their minds upon the centenary of the Cathedral, the 
seat of the mother See, the St. Peter's of the United 
States, were mingled with thoughts of the leader 
without fear and without reproach who had given to the 
Church a new aspect in the eyes of the American people, 
who towered now among the great figures of the world, 
statesman and churchman, exemplar of the religious vir- 
tues and of the civic virtues, who had led the Church in 
America out of the wilderness of distrust and even open 
hostility in which she had wandered for so many years 
and brought her at last into the promised land where she 
stood revealed before all the people in her own light, the 
light in which Gibbons had exhibited her when so many 
others had failed to do so. Acknowledging what he had 
done, they loved him even more for what he was ; and on 
best no barrier interposed to prevent them from hailing 
best no barrier interposed to prevent them from hailing 
him with one voice as the preeminent and revered citizen. 


The passage of the French Law of Associations, and 
subsequent agitation and legislation which ended in the 
rupture of the Concordat, excited deep feelings on the 
part of Catholics in the United States. They could not, 
as churchmen, forget the ardent and fruitful help of 
France any more than as citizens they could forget La- 
fayette and Rochambeau. In the early days of European 
civilization on the American continent, Jesuits from the 
banks of the Seine and the Loire had carried the Cross up 
and down the new world ; and when the Cross, no longer 
a wanderer, pointed to Heaven from the tops of thou- 
sands of churches, Cheverus and Flaget and Dubois and 
Dubourg and many other Bishops and clergy from France 
had helped to lay the foundations of religion in the youth- 
ful nation. Now the Church of France was in tears ; and 
Americans who pondered on the bitter trials through 
which she was passing could not avoid contrasting them 
with the peaceful relations between religion and the 
State in their own country, and deploring that contrast. 

So strongly were the American Bishops moved that, at 
their meeting held in the spring of 1906 at the Catholic 
University, a short time before the celebration of the 
Baltimore Cathedral centenary, they had decided to ad- 
dress a letter to the French Catholics, and requested Car- 



dinal Gibbons, their presiding officer, to prepare it. He 
drew it up while the greater assemblage of prelates was 
in Baltimore, and sent it to Cardinal Richard, Arch- 
bishop of Paris, as the principal representative of the 
Church in France. He wrote : 

"We would profit by the presence of so many distin- 
guished prelates to offer to our brethren in France, not so 
happily circumstanced as we, an unequivocal testimony 
of our sympathy and our sincere wishes for the welfare 
of the Church of France. . . . We are compelled to as- 
sure you of the keen regret which we feel at sight of the 
bitter persecution to which the Church of France is sub- 
jected — a persecution which, particularly during the last 
quarter of a century, has been marked by exceptional and 
vexatious legislation. To crown these irritating enact- 
ments, the agreement which for a century bound the eld- 
est daughter of the Church to Rome, has been, contrary 
to all the requirements of justice and honor, ruthlessly 
dissolved. The bloody conflicts immediately consequent 
upon the first application of this notorious law sanction- 
ing the separation of Church and state, so recently and 
peremptorily condemned by Pius X, do but forecast dis- 
turbances of a more serious character. However, such 
misfortunes are bound to enlist in your behalf the sym- 
pathy and prayers of all true children of the Church. . . . 

"It is difficult for minds accustomed to the complete 
liberty which we enjoy in this country to understand how 
a civilized government can, in the name of liberty, sub- 
ject an entire Christian people to the yoke of official 
atheism. Here, on the contrary, our rulers recognize that 
religion is necessary for the prosperity of the nation. 
While they arrogate to themselves no authority in re- 
ligious matters, thanks to the kindly feeling which ani- 
mates them, vexed questions are amicably settled. To 
illustrate by a single example, far from enacting legis- 


lation hostile to the Church, disputes involving ecclesias- 
tical property are decided by the civil courts in conform- 
ity with her recognized laws. 

"If the Church has the right of protection because she 
is the truth, her progress requires only liberty worthy of 
the name. This we have fully and completely. We sin- 
cerely hope the Church of France may soon enjoy the 
same advantage." ^ 

Cardinal Richard expressed his profound gratitude in 
a reply lamenting the ordeal through which the Church 
was then passing in France, and expressing his reliance 
upon God for a happy issue from her afflictions. 

The elements in control of the French government at 
that time were bent upon the execution of their program 
by their own methods, and the wishes of American Cath- 
olics were of no more avail than the wishes of those in 
Europe. Gibbons, in a public statement,^ called attention 
forcibly to some of the excesses which were being com- 
mitted. He was particularly disturbed because, as he 
declared, hatred of religion rather than love of the repub- 
lic actuated the French anti-clerical leaders. He said : 

"In France the Jacobin party is not dead. Its spirit 
is as living today as it was in the last decade of the 
eighteenth century. Its adherents hate God; they hate 
Christ; they hate His religion as much as their fathers 
hated them." 

He quoted one of the French cabinet ministers as hav- 
ing said in an address to teachers : 

"The time has come to root up from the minds of 
French children the ancient faith, which has served its 

* Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 
'Baltimore Sun, December 14, 1906. 


purpose, and replace it with the light of free thought. It 
is time to get rid of the Christian idea. We have hunted 
Jesus Christ out of the army, the navy, the schools, the 
hospitals, the asylums for the insane and orphans, and 
the law courts, and now we must hunt Him out of the 
State altogether." 

"What," asked the Cardinal, "would we Americans 
say if a Cabinet ofBcer were to propose this as the great 
aim of his administration*?" 

Gibbons was at that particular juncture a close ob- 
server of the manner in which the property rights of the 
Catholic Church were being readjusted in the Philippines 
and the other islands recently separated from the rule of 
Spain. He pointed out in his statement the contrast 
between the attitude of the French government at that 
time toward ecclesiastical rights and that of the courts 
of the United States, in which the legal claims of the 
Church were fully respected, and a settlement was being 
effected to the satisfaction of all. 

The vigorous declaration of Gibbons soon became cir- 
culated in France, where Premier Clemenceau felt its 
influence to such an extent that he took occasion to deny 
that a member of the cabinet had delivered the statement 
attributed to him "as minister," although failing to deny 
that the statement had been made. Gibbons promptly 
cited the London Saturday Review ^ as his authority, and 
saw no occasion to modify anything which he had said. 
His declarations were the signal for many public pro- 
tests in this country against the violent methods by which 
the French government of that period carried out its plans 
for the separation of Church and State. 

* Review, August i8 and 25, 1906. 


No American of his time received so many spontaneous 
tributes of public honor as Gibbons; and it remained for 
him at the age of seventy-seven years to receive one of 
these which had no precedent. It was on the occasion 
of his silver jubilee as Cardinal, and his golden jubilee 
as priest. He had reached the time of life when he had 
long since been inclined to deprecate the paying of per- 
sonal honors to himself, and, indeed, he had interposed 
an absolute veto upon several proposals of that kind; 
but when he learned what was contemplated by those 
who prepared to mark the greatest of all his jubilees in 
1911 his objections were silenced, for, keen student of 
the history of his country that he was, he knew that no 
American churchman, perhaps no American even in pub- 
lic life, had ever been made the object of such a testimo- 
nial as was to be given to him. 

It was decided to divide the honors into two parts, 
for did not Gibbons have a dual character now in the 
eyes of his fellow-countrymen? Was he not, by the ac- 
knowledgment of all, the foremost churchman who stood 
among them, and was he not also the foremost citizen 
outside of those holding the highest executive office? He 
had exhibited in his own person, as no other man had 
done, the fact that the two roles supplemented each other 


and blended harmoniously in one. Now that his career 
had covered a period which spread out in a long perspec- 
tive and was beginning to show at last the real propor- 
tions of the man, it was felt that while his jubilee was 
ecclesiastical, his work had been both ecclesiastical and 

The record of those years so far as their fruits related 
solely to the Church was wonderful enough, and the cele- 
bration would have recalled a great story of battle and 
victory if it had been confined to that aspect of Gibbons 
alone ; but the story of the half century was one that went 
far outside even the broad reach of the Catholic Church. 
It was of struggles, sacrifices and great and lasting bene- 
fits for men everywhere and especially for men in the 
country for whose welfare Gibbons had been second to 
none in solicitude and effective help. 

So it was determined by common and even impulsive 
assent, as it were, that there should be two celebrations, 
one in honor of Gibbons the churchman, one in honor of 
Gibbons the citizen. Men of importance throughout the 
country whose preoccupations in other directions might 
have been expected to preclude them from taking any 
particular notice of the plans suddenly developed a vivid 
interest in them and a desire to share in what was to be 
done. The thought, the feeling, the desire swept through- 
out the country. Magazines and newspapers began to 
spread before their readers at length accounts of what 
those years of Gibbons had meant to the world. Com- 
mittees were formed ; a bustle of preparations, after the 
American fashion on such occasions, was begun. 

The civic celebration was held first. Its scene was the 


greatest public hall in Baltimore,^ one of those built for 
national political conventions and other events of high 
importance. In that great auditorium 20,000 persons 
assembled on June 6, 1911, and thousands more waited 
outside, inspired by the same desire to show homage to the 
Cardinal such as had been shown to no American church- 
man before. 

It was not the size of the multitude which was the 
gauge of the real meaning of the demonstration. Mr. 
Taft, President of the United States, escorted Gibbons — 
a pale, red-robed figure — into the hall for the honors that 
were to be heaped upon him. Surrounding them as they 
sat upon the platform were the Vice-President, Mr. 
Sherman; the only living ex-President, Mr. Roosevelt; 
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. White ; the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Clark ; the 
ex-Speaker, Mr. Cannon; the British Ambassador, Mr. 
Bryce; the Governor of Maryland, Mr. Crothers; the 
Mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Preston; the United States 
Senators from Maryland, Messrs. Rayner and Smith; the 
members of the House of Representatives from the Car- 
dinal's State, and a large number of the most prominent 
figures in both houses of Congress, as well as leading men 
of the State and city, without regard to religious belief. 
Never had such an assemblage met for a purpose of that 
kind; never had such a one met on any occasion, except 
at the inauguration of a President of the United States, 
where official duty rather than individual free will im- 
pelled attendance. 

No one could scan the representation of the nation's 

*The Fifth Regiment Armory. 


leaders, bound by a common desire to express the nation's 
thanks to the object of such great attentions, without be- 
lieving that Gibbons was "first in the hearts of his fel- 
low-countrymen." His place was apart from the politi- 
cal broils of that moment or any other; both political 
parties and all elements of those parties were represented 
in the official group that was present. No thoughts of 
temporary circumstance were in the minds of those men 
in honoring one who stood for the great permanent virtues 
which all Americans admire and which they like to be- 
lieve are characteristic of the best that is in them. 

The evidence was overwhelming that Gibbons had be- 
come a type for the whole people. That he was a Catho- 
lic did not matter now; even that he was a Cardinal mat- 
tered not; for he was the greatest single force that had 
broken down the barrier of religious intolerance in 
America, and it seemed overthrown forever as an effec- 
tive force. The Civil War had brought political union 
and Gibbons had brought religious fraternity. He was 
the Lincoln of a new brotherhood. 

As the time of the jubilee drew near, this unique trib- 
ute had been suggested, and its details worked out in 
large part by Oliver P. Baldwin, managing editor of the 
Baltimore Sun^ a newspaper whose columns had reflected 
during that pregnant half century the labors and aspira- 
tions of the Cardinal's life. The preparations were made 
by committees headed by Governor Crothers, a Methodist, 
and Mayor Preston, the superintendent of an Episcopal 
Sunday school. The committees included a number of 
Catholics, but a majority of their membership was com- 
posed of non-Catholics. Bishop Murray, of the Episco- 


pal diocese of Maryland, was one of the most active in 
the work of organization. The whole aspect of the tribute 
was non-sectarian from beginning to end. For the most 
part the higher officials who assembled to speak for the 
whole country in recognizing the eminent services of Gib- 
bons were also non-Catholics. 

Governor Crothers, as was fitting in the Cardinal's 
State, presided and spoke of the celebration as truly rep- 
resentative of Maryland, in which religious freedom had 
been set up for the first time in the Western World. He 
continued : 

"It is a gathering embracing all religious denomina- 
tions, without distinction or exception, assembled to do 
honor to a great standard-bearer of religion, who repre- 
sents the highest purposes of Church, State and society. 
While we have assembled to honor, as with one heart, a 
distinguished ecclesiastic, an incomparable citizen and a 
great and good man, the occasion is, in my mind, still 
more significant as a spontaneous union of men and 
women, holding every religious and political opinion, to 
tender the token of their esteem and affection to the head, 
in America, of a great Church, which has now endured 
almost two thousand years, and whose influence is as wide 
as civilization itself. 

"We salute you, Cardinal Gibbons, as a torch-bearer 
in our midst of religion, justice and patriotism. We ac- 
knowledge and celebrate before the country and the world 
your lofty devotion to religious faith and purposes, your 
unfailing and ceaseless activities in behalf of this State 
and Union and of all their spiritual and material inter- 
ests, your encouragement and help in all good aspirations, 
your wise and beneficent counsels in times of difficulty 

*Full reports of these .addresses were published in a memorial volume 
of the celebration (Baltimore, 191 1.) 


and doubt, your elevating influence upon all the move- 
ments and concerns of this your own native land. The 
State of Maryland tenders you its warmest and deepest 
felicitations and most earnestly wishes you many more 
years of life and happiness." 

No one there knew more of what the Cardinal had done 
for his country than President Taft. As civil governor 
of the Philippines and afterwards as Secretary of War 
having jurisdiction over those islands, he had been an 
observer at close range of the immense practical service 
which Gibbons had performed in readjusting their popu- 
lation to the new conditions. He had leaned upon the 
Cardinal's guidance and help in trying moments when the 
outlook for so radical a transformation in the distant 
archipelago had seemed dark indeed. Now, with every 
problem solved, peace restored in the insular possessions, 
and prosperity beginning to blossom upon fields scarred 
recently by war, he spoke from a full heart when he said 
of Gibbons : 

"We are here to recognize and honor in him his high 
virtues as a patriotic member of our political community 
and one who through his long and useful life has spared 
no efforts in the cause of good citizenship and the uplift- 
ing of his fellow-men. 

"As American citizens we are proud that his promi- 
nence in the Church brought him twenty-five years ago 
the rank of Cardinal. The rarity with which this rank is 
conferred in his Church upon Bishops and priests so far 
from Rome is an indication of the position which he had 
won among his fellow-churchmen. But what we are es- 
pecially delighted to see confirmed in him and his life is 
the entire consistency which he has demonstrated between 


earnest and single-minded patriotism and love of country 
on the one hand and sincere devotion to his Church on the 

"One of the tenets of his Church is respect for consti- 
tuted authority, and always have we found him on the 
side of law and order, always in favor of peace and good 
will to all men, always in favor of religious tolerance, 
and always strong in the conviction that complete free- 
dom in the matter of religion is the best condition under 
which churches may thrive. With pardonable pride he 
points to the fact that Maryland under Catholic control 
was among the first to give complete religious toleration. 

"Nothing could more clearly show the character of the 
man whose jubilee we celebrate than the living testi- 
monial that this assembly is to his value as a neighbor 
in the community of Baltimore. 

"In spite of the burden and responsibilities of his high 
position in the Church, he has taken part in many 
great movements for the betterment of mankind and has 
shown himself not only a good Catholic in the Church 
sense, but he has been broadly catholic in the secular 
sense of that word, so that the affection felt for him by 
his co-religionists has spread to all denominations and to 
all the people, who are quick to perceive a disinterested 

"That he may long contmue active in his present high 
position, that he may long continue in secular movements 
to take the prominent place he has always had in works 
of usefulness is the fervent prayer of Catholic and Prot- 
estant, of Jew and Christian." 

Roosevelt, like Taft, had had recourse to the Cardinal's 
support and advice in times of stress and had come to 
realize his real measure as a benevolent power in the 
nation. No one of those who sat with the ex-President 


and who heard him declare in his speech "I am honored — 
we are all honored — that the opportunity has come to- 
day to pay a tribute to what is highest and best in Ameri- 
can citizenship, when we meet to celebrate this occasion" 
could doubt that he was speaking the deliberate judg- 
ment of years, for he had gratefully expressed the same 
views before. He said: 

"Not only is this gathering characteristic of Maryland, 
but it is characteristic of our great Union, it is characteris- 
tic of America, because here in this republic, with all of 
our faults and shortcomings — and we have plenty of 
them — it is nevertheless true that we have come nearer 
than any other nation to solving the difficult problem of 
combining complete religious liberty and toleration with 
a devoutly religious feeling in the people as a whole. 

"And we meet this afternoon to do honor in the name 
of all the American people, in the name of the American 
nation, to you, because while the American people may 
differ among themselves on questions of dogma, they are 
a unit in recognizing what counts in civic affairs for so 
much more than dogma — conduct, in the churchman as 
in the statesman. 

"Friends, we read now and then prophecies of woe 
about the churches in the future, complaints as to congre- 
gations growing smaller, complaints as to lack of belief 
among the congregations. There will be no trouble about 
the future of any American church if that church makes 
as its cardinal principle the rendering of service to the 

"No church in the United States will ever have to de- 
fend itself as long as those standing highest in that 
church, as well as those under them, serve the people, 
devote their lives to the service of the men and women 
round about them, as you, Cardinal Gibbons, have de- 


voted your life to the service of your fellow-countrymen 
and countrywomen. What we care for, what we Ameri- 
cans wish to see in the church, is service; what we wish 
to judge the man by is his conduct and character. 

"If the church renders good service and if the man rings 
true when we apply the touchstone of principle to his 
conduct and his character, then the American people will 
be well content with both church and man. And, my 
fellow-countrymen, in spite of all the little things that 
divide us, think how blessed we are because we are united 
on an occasion like this without regard to past history and 
antecedents, without regard to differences of religious or 
political belief, to honor a good man, who in and through 
his church and as a citizen of this country has lived the 
life that a good man should live. 

"It was my good fortune the other day to attend a 
meeting composed chiefly of Protestant preachers, where 
I was introduced by a Catholic priest and where we were 
led in prayer by a Jewish rabbi, and now we come to- 
gether, Catholic and Protestant, as the President has said, 
to render honor to a man who is our fellow-citizen and 
in whom we all claim a certain proprietary right. And, 
friends, religious intolerance and bitterness are bad 
enough in any country, but they are inexcusable in ours. 

"Our republic, mighty in its youth, destined to endure 
for ages, will see many Presidents during those ages, and 
it will see Presidents who are Catholics as well as Presi- 
dents who are Protestants; Presidents who are Jews as 
well as Presidents who are Gentiles. 

"The Cardinal throughout his life has devoted himself 
to the service of the American people. He has endeav- 
ored to work and he has worked steadily in the uplifting 
of the lowly; he has worked steadily to bring nearer the 
day when we should approximate better to the rule of 
justice and fair dealing as between man and man. His 
voice has ever been raised on behalf of the weak and the 


downtrodden, his hand ever stretched out toward those 
who may have slept, toward all those who are in suffer- 
ing, who have suffered loss or were suffering pain. He 
has fought for the rights of the lowly, he has done all that 
he might to bring nearer the day when there should be 
a more complete reign of justice in this land, and he has 
shown by his life his realization of the truth that justice 
can come only through law and order ; that disorder and 
lawlessness are the negation of justice and in the end 
deal most severely against the poor and the lowly. 

"He has set an example to all of us in public and pri- 
vate life, both by that for which he has striven and the 
way in which he has striven to achieve it. He has striven 
for justice, he has striven for fair dealing and he has 
striven for it in the spirit of truth, in the spirit that has 
no relation to lawlessness or disorder, and at the same 
time with the fullest recognition that law and order, es- 
sential though they are, are primarily essential because 
on them as a foundation, and only on them as a founda- 
tion, is it possible to build the great temple of justice and 
generous fair dealing as between man and man. I am 
honored — we are all honored — that the opportunity has 
come today to pay a tribute to what is highest and best 
in American citizenship, when we meet to celebrate this 
occasion, Cardinal Gibbons." 

Following the addresses of the President and the ex- 
President, speaking for the executive department of the 
government, present and past, words which many of their 
predecessors, had they been alive, would have been glad 
to echo, congratulations were presented to the Cardinal 
by Vice-President Sherman. Elihu Root, Senator from 
New York, eulogized Gibbons in one of his brilliant 
speeches as "the champion of ideals," saying: 


"It is because Cardinal Gibbons has illustrated in his 
life, in his conduct, in his arduous labors, in his self-devo- 
tion to all good causes, all that we would like to have our 
children admire and follow, all that we love to believe 
our country possesses, that America, through us, with sin- 
cerity and ardor, honors him today. And it is because 
he has been the champion of ideals, because he is a man 
not only of works but of faith, that we who differ from 
him in dogma, who do not belong to his Church, hold him 
as in his proper person illustrating the true union of 
service to State and service to God, the true union which 
makes the functional and ceremonial union of Church 
and State unnecessary, the union in the heart of man 
of devotion to country and devotion to God. 

"He is both a great prelate and a great citizen, and 
under his guidance his Church, his people and his follow- 
ers have always stood, and now stand, a bulwark against 
atheism and anarchy, against the tearing down of those 
principles of morality and of government upon which the 
opportunities of our country depend." 

Speaker Clark presented greetings from the House of 
Representatives, saying : 

"Cardinal Gibbons stands here today honored by the 
entire American people, without respect to politics or 
religion or geographical lines. Among the men that have 
met here to do him honor, I live farther from this city 
than any other man here except the Ambassador from 
Great Britain; and the Cardinal's words are quoted as 
often, his influence is as great, the affection for him is as 
strong, west of the great river as it is in the city of Balti- 

There was also a voice, that of ex-Speaker Cannon, 
raised in the name of those who were not identified with 


any church, and who honored the Cardinal none the less 
for simple manhood than for great accomplishments. 
Mr. Cannon said : 

"In the United States no man lives who has led in 
doing more to bring men together under the influence of 
a broad catholic spirit in religion, in politics, than your- 
self. As a member of no church organization, one of the 
outsiders, so far as church membership is concerned, I 
tender to you my thanks for the great work that you 
have led in doing and for the great work that is being 
done, not only in the great republic, but in all the world, 
by those who live under and teach under, with a broad 
catholic spirit, the precepts of the Master." 

Ambassador Bryce was one of those most amazed by 
the extraordinary grouping of official persons to share 
in honors in an English-speaking country to a Catholic 
prelate. The author of "The Holy Roman Empire" and 
"The American Commonwealth" could not fail to reflect 
the historical background of his thoughts upon such an 
occasion. In his own country he knew that such a gath- 
ering was impossible. It was as if at a great public meet- 
ing in London in honor of Manning, the Prime Minister 
and the former Prime Ministers living, the Lord Chan- 
cellor, the leaders in the House of Lords and the House 
of Commons and the representation in both bodies from 
the city of London as well as the municipal officials of 
London had come together. Not only was such a gather- 
ing impossible in honor of any of England's Cardinals, 
Mr. Bryce knew, but it could not be drawn together to 
honor a churchman of any faith in any European coun- 
try. Of his deep knowledge of America, he also knew 


that it would have been impossible in honor of any other 
churchman whom this country had produced. Mr. Bryce 
said in his speech : 

"Is it not a beautiful sight when we think of the ages 
of the past in which those of us who do not belong to the 
Church which his Eminence represents, and those of us 
who do belong to that Church, were divided by bitter 
antagonisms and mutual suspicions'? Is it not a blessed 
thing that today we can all meet without distinction of 
religious faith to pay honor to one who illustrates the 
fundamental principles of Christianity by his life as well 
as by his teachings'? 

"There are diversities of governments but the same 
spirit, and in his Eminence and in his life there is drawn 
out a beautiful example of those virtues which belong to 
our common Christianity and which we can all honor 

"And I may say to you, citizens of the United States, 
that if there is anything which we in Europe specially 
honor and admire in the great republic which belongs to 
you, it is this — that you have carried out consistently 
from the first that admirable principle with which you 
started, of making no distinction of religion and by 
teaching all men that their Christianity is a part of com- 
mon citizenship. That is a great lesson which has been 
taught to the world by America and I do not think it 
could be taught in a more impressive form than it is 
taught when all religious faiths may gather to honor an 
illustrious prelate of the Catholic Church." 

Mayor Preston spoke of the "exalted character and 
useful life" of Gibbons, saying: 

"In the name of our city and of this vast assemblage 
of distinguished guests and home people I respectfully 


felicitate him upon this recognition by his fellow-citizens 
of his life and labors." 

Notwithstanding the high station of the official group 
around him, such had been the life of Gibbons that, in a 
considerable degree, he was amid personal friends and 
familiar associates. Perhaps this tended to lessen the 
strain which any man might have felt when the time 
came to respond to the eulogies of which he had been 
the object. No one, however great his experience and 
habit of poise on public occasions, could have failed to be 
swept by thoughts of the meaning of such an event to 
him. An extreme paleness of the countenance and a 
slight wavering of the voice were the only outward evi- 
dences which he gave of the tension that he must have 

Besides, as he rose to speak and the great hall resound- 
ed with acclamations which in ruder ages might have been 
bestowed upon a military hero returning from the con- 
quest of an empire, he beheld in the scene around him 
justification of his life-long faith in the people among 
whom his lot had been cast. He whose trust in the mis- 
sion of the nation had been shown in the anguish of war, 
the dark hours of labor riots, the scandals of polluted 
politics and the flames of prejudice concerning religion 
could not but feel the vindication of the great aims which 
had inspired his career. 

He spoke simply as he always did upon occasions per- 
sonal in their nature, but he spoke thoughts that had 
gripped him throughout the long years and never more 
strongly than at that moment; testifying to his faith in 


his country, to the essentially religious nature of the 
American people, to his eminent satisfaction with the 
results of the conditions under which Church and 
State existed in America, to his unfailing confidence 
in the perpetuity of the political institutions which 
he had done so much to uphold. His address was 
as follows: 

"I am filled with emotions of gratitude by this extra- 
ordinary manifestation on the part of my fellow-citizens, 
without distinction of race or religion or condition of life, 
and I am overwhelmed with confusion by the unmerited 
encomiums which have been pronounced by the President 
of the United States, the Vice-President, the former Pres- 
ident, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the 
former Speaker, Senator Root, the Ambassador of Great 
Britain, the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of 

"Gentlemen, you have portrayed your subject not, I 
fear, as he is, but as he should be. But your portrait is 
so attractive to me that it shall be my endeavor to re- 
semble it more and more every day of the few years that 
remain to me. One merit only can I truly claim regard- 
ing my civic life, and that is, an ardent love for my native 
country and her political institutions. Ever since I en- 
tered the sacred ministry my aim has been to make those 
over whom I exerted any influence not only more upright 
Christians, but also more loyal citizens; for the most 
faithful Christian makes the best citizen. 

"I consider the Republic of the United States one of 
the most precious heirlooms ever bestowed on mankind 
down the ages, and that it is the duty and should be the 
delight of every citizen to strengthen and perpetuate our 
Government by the observance of its laws and by the 
integrity of his private life. 'Righteousness,' says the 


Book of Proverbs, 'exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach 
to the people.' 

"If our Government is destined to be enduring it must 
rest on the eternal principles of justice, truth and right- 
eousness, and these principles must have for their sanction 
the recognition of a Supreme Being who created all things 
by His power, who governs them by His wisdom and 
whose superintending Providence watches over the affairs 
of nations and of men. 

"When the f ramers of our immortal Constitution were 
in session, Benjamin Franklin complained to his col- 
leagues of the small progress they had made after several 
weeks of deliberation. He used these memorable words: 
'We have spent many days in fruitless discussion. We 
have been groping in the dark because we have not sought 
light from the Father of Light to illumine our under- 
standing. I have lived,' he continued, 'for many years, 
and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I have 
that God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow 
can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it prob- 
able that an empire can rise without His aid and coopera- 
tion*? We are told in the same sacred writings that 
unless the Lord build the house, he laboreth in vain 
who buildeth it.' 

"Thank God, the words of Franklin did not fall on 
barren soil. They have borne fruit. Our Government 
from its dawn to the present time has been guided by 
Christian ideals. It has recognized the existence of a 
superintending Providence. This is evident from the 
fact that our presidents, from George Washington to 
William Howard Taft, have almost invariably invoked 
the aid of our heavenly Father in their inaugural proc- 
lamations. Both Houses of Congress are opened with 
prayer. The Christian Sabbath is recognized and ob- 
served throughout the land. The President of the United 
States issues an annual proclamation, inviting his fellow- 


citizens to assemble in their respective houses of worship 
and thank the Almighty for the blessings vouchsafed to 
us as a nation. 

"It is true, indeed, that there is no official union of 
Church and State in this country. But we must not infer 
from this that there is any antagonism between the civil 
and religious authorities. Far from it, Church and State 
move on parallel lines. They mutually assist one an- 
other. The State holds over the spiritual rulers the segis 
of its protection without interfering with the sacred and 
God-given rights of conscience. And the Church on her 
part helps to enforce the civil laws by moral and religious 

"I fear that we do not fully realize and are not duly 
grateful for the anxious cares with which our Chief Mag- 
istrate and the heads of the co-ordinate branches of the 
Government are preoccupied in the discharge of their 
official duties. And these cares are the price which is 
paid for our domestic peace and comfort and the tran- 
quillity of the commonwealth. When the traveler in 
mid-ocean is buffeted by the waves he feels a sense of 
security, because he knows that the captain and his offi- 
cers are at the post of duty. So do we securely rest on 
our pillows because we are conscious that our great cap- 
tain and his associates in office are diligently steering the 
ship of state. 

"It is the duty of us all, churchman and layman, to 
hold up the hands of our President, as Aaron and Hur 
stayed up the hands of Moses. Let us remember that our 
Chief Executive and all subordinate magistrates are the 
accredited agents and ministers of God and are clothed 
with Divine authority and therefore it is our duty and 
should be our delight to aid them by every means in our 
power in guiding and controlling the destiny of our glori- 
ous republic." 


Not only in the remotest parts of the United States, 
but throughout the world, this gathering was a subject of 
extended comment; and, after all, it seemed in the case 
of Gibbons a matter of course. The extraordinary trib- 
ute which he had received was merely a definite form of 
expression of thoughts which had existed in the minds 
of men for many years and which continued to exist in 
them. Of the multitude of laudations in the press, some 
of those keyed in the strongest note of expression were 
from non-Catholic sources. So far as the personality of 
Gibbons was concerned the dividing line had disappeared. 
His mission was that of a man to men, and appreciation 
of its bountiful fruits could not be circumscribed. He 
had reversed the dictum that republics are ungrateful. 

No one sat upon the platform on that memorable occa- 
sion who was not astonished at the spectacle. No one 
was more surprised at it than Gibbons. In spite of his 
disinclination to accept public ceremonies in his honor, he 
remarked after the last words had been said that the day 
was one of the happiest of his life, and added : 

*T have been present at many great ecclesiastical and 
civic ceremonies where there were outpourings of clergy 
and laymen, but never have I seen a more august body 
of men together. Every branch of this great government 
of ours was represented. There was the executive, rep- 
resented by my esteemed friend President Taf t ; the leg- 
islative, represented by many senators and representa- 
tives; and the judicial, by Chief Justice White. No 
greater body of men could have been assembled, and this 
day and its event will live always in my memory. 

"I cannot express my feelings when I consider the num- 


ber and character of the men who came here to pay their 
respects. I want to thank each man, woman and child 
who took the trouble to be present. For a humble citizen 
like myself, I think it is the greatest demonstration ever 

In the quiet of his study, robed in the worn gray 
dressing gown which was a familiar object to his inti- 
mates who were accustomed to visit him there, he said, as 
he contemplated the many messages by cable, telegraph 
and mail which had poured in upon him : 

"It seemed that the whole nation remembered me.'* 

Not only was he remembered by the nation which he 
loved, but by men of prominence abroad who shared in 
the pleasure of the occasion. Six of the cable messages 
which he received were from Cardinals in Europe. 

In the great hall itself it had seemed almost to have 
a savor of unreality that such an assemblage could be 
brought together to pay honor to any man. Most of the 
speeches, except of course that of the Cardinal himself, 
who could not have trusted himself to attempt impromptu 
expression on such an occasion, had the merit of being 
extemporaneous and therefore seemed to come straight 
from the hearts of those who uttered them. There was 
no vein of extravagance in them, such as men talking for 
a purpose apart from the object of the meeting might 
have introduced. Scanned closely, they were found to 
form an exceptionally accurate estimate of the object of 
their praise. Distinguished as were the speakers, most 
of them knew Gibbons well, in not a few cases intimately. 
What they uttered was, collectively, the deliberate opin- 
ion of nearly all those close enough to him to rate him 


for what he was. They were estimates rather than eulo- 
gies and did not go further than a multitude of expres- 
sions in magazines and newspapers which appeared simul- 
taneously, if as far. 

While the majority of those who spoke were not of 
the Cardinal's religious faith, they were one with him in 
civic faith and in his view of a man's duty to men. His 
own address, couched in terms of humility which no one 
doubted, reinforced the general impression of himself. 
He spoke thoughts, simple enough in themselves, the ex- 
emplification of which in his long life had been the cause 
of all that was said of him by the chiefs of the nation. 

There was no accounting for the tribute, except on the 
ground of his own personality. Mr. Baldwin, who con- 
ceived the idea of the meeting, had been indefatigable 
in obtaining acceptances to the invitations, but even his 
best efforts would have been unequal to assembling such 
a gathering had there not been a truly earnest desire on 
the part of the leaders of official life to recognize such 
services to the State as no churchman in America, except 
Gibbons, had ever given. Some of those who took lead- 
ing parts did so at considerable sacrifice. Chief Justice 
White, who for many years had been a close friend of 
Gibbons, came all the way from his home in New Or- 
leans in order to be present, though his age was advanced. 
None would have spoken more fervently than he of the 
Cardinal, had it not been for the custom which prevents 
the Chief Justice from delivering speeches on public occa- 
sions outside the circle of his judicial duties. 

Neither Taft nor Roosevelt would have been willing 
to miss such a meeting, and, indeed, either of them would 


have considered it a slight not to have been invited. They 
were not of the type to conceal the gratitude which they 
felt for the direct services to the nation which Gibbons 
had given during their terms in the Presidential office. 

Nothing could be found in the nature of the event, 
apart from the personality of its chief participant, to 
draw forth such an overwhelming expression of official 
recognition. True, the silver jubilee of a Cardinal is rare. 
Most of the members of the Sacred College are near 
sixty years of age when they are appointed, especially 
those far removed from Rome, for they must attain, as 
a preliminary, records of exceptional accomplishment in 
the Church, tried and proved by the test of time. They 
would thus be beyond eighty years of age if they reached 
the silver jubilee of the Cardinalate. For the same rea- 
son, few Archbishops attain a service of twenty-five years 
as such, but Gibbons in 1911 had been Archbishop of 
Baltimore for a third of a century. 

Considering that the event took place in America, the 
silver jubilee of a Cardinal in this country was, of course, 
a rarity, for there had been only one before Gibbons and 
he had served only ten years in the Sacred College. Mc- 
Closkey, "retiring from the world," as Gibbons said of 
him in the sermon at his funeral, was only a name to the 
great majority of Americans outside his diocese. A be- 
loved ecclesiastic and an excellent administrator, he had 
led no battle, won no triumph, suffered no reverse. Had 
he survived to bear his eminent title to the length of 
twenty-five years, there would have been an imposing 
Church celebration of that event, but no one, least of all 
McCloskey himself, would have thought of a national 


civic celebration as appropriate in that connection. 

But Gibbons had set a new type for churchmen in 
America, not only as to his own Church, but as to all 
forms of all faiths. He had made a place for himself 
that no other had filled or attempted to fill, for the reason 
that it had seemed unattainable. No Catholic ecclesiastic 
had been so bold as to believe before Gibbons' time that 
he could be an acknowledged leader in the public life of 
the nation without drawing upon himself fierce hostility ; 
the conception of how the balance of the two elements 
could be preserved with perfect propriety was possible to 
few men. To risk the misunderstanding that there was 
an attempted encroachment by the Church upon the State 
would have seemed fraught with untold danger. More 
particularly would this apply in the case of a Cardinal of 
dominant personality. 

Yet, so far as his most intimate friends were able to 
detect. Gibbons had never thought of such a danger; 
certainly he was not one to shrink from any undertaking 
because of fear of being misunderstood. His natural 
bent was to take a deep interest in citizenship, and he 
could only have held aloof from participation in public 
affairs by a violent effort of the will. Besides, he valued 
his rights under the Constitution and laws as few men 
valued them, and he wished to exercise them fully. He 
did not claim any greater right than the humblest citizen, 
but that to him seemed enough. He was constantly 
deploring that so few men, comparatively, made proper 
use of their opportunities to give civic service, and he 
drew no line of creed as to this. Once he said that he 
would much prefer active participation by an individual 


in public affairs, even if the individual were inclined at 
times to err in judgment, to the dulness of indifference. 
His creed was action in civic life as well as in religion. 

Searching for a precedent, it would appear that those 
American churchmen who most nearly approached the 
public role which Gibbons filled were Archbishops Car- 
roll and Hughes in the Catholic Church, and Henry Ward 
Beecher among Protestants. Carroll, the pathfinder, 
showed the way with sure and steady step to the Catholics 
of America when the Church numbered only about 25,000 
souls in the whole country, owing to the disabilities im- 
posed under English Colonial rule. The guidance of 
that small body was a far different undertaking from 
that of Gibbons. Carroll was second to none in the es- 
teem in which he was held by the leaders of the young 
nation, but he was not as constant a participant in public 
affairs as Gibbons, and mingled less with public men. It 
remained for Gibbons to give effectiveness, when the 
United States was becoming the most populous of the 
great powers of the world, to the great ideas which Car- 
roll conceived with clear vision in the darkness of the 
struggle that made the country independent. 

Hughes ^ and Beecher ^ were eminently successful in 
preventing the marshaling of European influence against 
the preservation of the American union in the Civil War, 
but neither of them had exemplified the deep and inti- 
mate reach into the life of the country that Gibbons 
had. The model which Gibbons set was original and 
difficult even for others to imitate. 

"Shea, History of the Catholic Church in the United States, p. 473- 
* Abbott, Henry Ward Beecher, pp. 161-186. 


Nothing could have been more characteristic of Gib- 
bons than an incident that developed when the time of 
the ecclesiastical celebration of his jubilee in October, 
1911, was drawing near. There had been no objection 
when the City Council of Baltimore had declared a 
municipal holiday in honor of the civic celebration in 
June. A few weeks before the time set for the ecclesias- 
tical commemoration, a resolution for declaring a muni- 
cipal holiday for that occasion also was presented in the 
Council. The resolution passed one branch of that body, 
and was about to be passed by the other branch, when ob- 
jections by the Ministerial Union of Baltimore, a group 
of Protestant ministers who met for periodical discus- 
sions, were interposed. 

The union adopted resolutions of protest which, how- 
ever, were careful to set forth that they had no relation 
to a desire to withhold honor from Gibbons himself. The 
resolutions read: 

"A great municipal reception was given to Cardinal 
Gibbons last June participated in by city officers and 
ministers of many denominations and various State and 
national representatives, making it a general tribute to a 
great citizen, and expressing the kindly and courteous 
feelings of Baltimore to him as a man; 



"An ecclesiastical celebration of the same anniversaries 
is being planned for this October by his own church, a 
distinctly ecclesiastical observance as the proposed pro- 
gram indicates. On this occasion we Protestants can and 
do present our respectful congratulations, but in this cele- 
bration we cannot be expected to take part. 

"It has been reported in the newspapers that the pro- 
posal is now before the City Council to set aside a day 
in this ecclesiastical program, namely, Monday, October 
16, as a municipal holiday, closing all municipal offices 
and the public schools, in which the great majority are 
Protestants, in deference to this ecclesiastical celebration, 
forcing them tacitly to have a part in it. 

"Therefore, Resolved^ That without in the least les- 
sening our honor and respect for Cardinal Gibbons as a 
man and as a citizen and as a brother churchman of signal 
ability and success in the duties of his high office, never- 
theless we most earnestly and emphatically protest against 
the overzeal and unwisdom of some of his friends in the 
proposal to force a municipal holiday upon our city in 
deference to an ecclesiastical celebration. 

"We regard such proposed action as an infringement 
upon our rights as Protestant citizens in this municipality. 

"We regard such proposed action as a direct violation 
of a fundamental principle of our American government, 
with its complete separation of Church and State. 

"We regard such proposed action as a most dangerous 
and unwarranted precedent, and therefore against it we 
must courteously but firmly record our emphatic protest." 

At a meeting of the union, speeches were made in sup- 
port of the resolutions in which, as in the resolutions 
themselves, there was no word of disrespect to the Car- 
dinal. Gibbons saw an account of this meeting in a 
newspaper the following morning, and sent a hasty mes- 




'5 e 

fin's •" 

^ 2q 


sage summoning to his residence for consultation a friend 
with whom he was accustomed to confer at times upon 
public questions. When this friend arrived at his place 
of business that morning, he received the message, and, 
without giving a thought to his own numerous duties of 
the day, proceeded at once to the archiepiscopal residence. 

He found the Cardinal in his study, attired in the 
familiar dressing gown. After a brief exchange of greet- 
ings, the Cardinal disclosed the object of his summons by 
saying : 

"I have just been reading in the Sun of the meeting 
of ministers yesterday, at which objection was made to a 
municipal holiday in honor of my ecclesiastical jubilee. 
What do you think of their views'?" 

The friend was not prepared to answer so direct a 
question at once. He felt that no honor would be too 
great for the Cardinal, and therefore was somewhat 
shocked at the objections to the holiday. He replied: 

"Your Eminence, I think it was at least in bad taste." 

Gibbons replied at once: 

"I think they are right." 

He had evidently made up his mind firmly on the sub- 
ject and merely wished to sound his friend, as he had 
done on former occasions. The Cardinal continued : 

"Do you know Mr. Jung, who introduced the resolu- 
tion in the City Council^" 

The friend said that he did not know the councilman. 

"Do you know any one who has influence with him?" 
was the next question. 

In reply the Cardinal's visitor named one of the lead- 
ing men of the city, identified with local politics, in a 


better sort of way, who was credited with special influ- 
ence in the ward which Jung represented. The Cardinal 
proceeded : 

"Go to see him at once for me, and ask him to request 
Mr. Jung to call upon me at three o'clock." 

The mission was promptly executed and at the hour 
named the city councilman presented himself at the Car- 
dinal's residence. Gibbons had prepared for the inter- 
view. He thanked Jung for the kindly sentiments which 
had caused him to introduce the resolution, and re- 
quested earnestly that it be withdrawn at the meeting 
of the Council which was to take place later on that day. 
At the same time he handed to Jung a prepared statement 
in which he formally requested the withdrawal. In this 
statement the Cardinal gave three reasons for his course. 
They were : 

First, a municipal holiday might not be acceptable to 
the parents of the thousands of children attending the 
schools, who would be released from discipline and spend 
the time in idleness. 

Second, the business interests of the city might be in- 
terfered with. 

Third, many persons of the laboring classes would be 
thrown out of employment and lose a day's wages. 

From obvious causes he omitted to state the fundamen- 
tal and all-compelling reason with him, which was that 
he wished to do nothing at any time which would offend 
the sensibilities of his Protestant fellow-citizens. 

The Cardinal told Jung that he hoped that his action 
would meet with the approval of all the people of Balti- 
more, regardless of creed. He added that he could never 


cease to express his gratitude to the city and State au- 
thorities for participating officially in the civic celebra- 
tion in his honor in June, and that it was, in his opinion, 
neither necessary nor desirable that the City Council 
should give special recognition to the next celebration, 
which would be purely ecclesiastical. 

Jung could do nothing but acquiesce in the Cardinal's 
views, and the resolution was withdrawn from the Coun- 
cil's consideration. 

Gibbons went further. He sent for the minister who 
had made the principal speech to the Ministerial Union 
in opposition to the declaration of a municipal holiday 
and cordially commended him for the stand that had 
been taken, saying that the views of both of them upon 
the subject coincided fully. The minister was much im- 
pressed by the brotherly affection with which the Cardinal 
received him, and still more by the frank and emphatic 
views, paralleling his own, which the eminent prelate 

Gibbons arranged a prelude, as he sometimes did in 
the case of important ecclesiastical celebrations, which 
took the form of the delivery of a message to all his fel- 
low-countrymen, in advance of the event, on a subject 
which he considered important and necessary to present. 
At that time there was strong public agitation in favor 
of the constitutional amendment subsequently enacted, 
providing for the election of United States senators by 
popular vote, instead of by the legislatures of the States, 
and also for the initiative, referendum and recall of pub- 
lic officials. Gibbons had positive views upon these ques- 
tions, because they involved a considerable change from 


constitutional methods, in the upholding of which he saw 
the principal reliance for the safety of American institu- 
tions, and he felt that the occasion must not be allowed 
to pass without a word of warning to his fellow-citizens. 

Preaching in the Baltimore Cathedral October 13, a 
week in advance of the celebration, he delivered his mes- 
sage to one of the greatest congregations ever assembled 
even in that edifice. As always when he preached there, 
non-Catholics composed perhaps half of the congregation, 
and long lines of people who were unable to find places 
within the building massed in the streets outside as the 
time for the service approached. 

Gibbons began by referring to his coming jubilee, 
saying : 

"When the subject of commemorating the golden 
jubilee of my ordination to the priesthood and the silver 
jubilee of my elevation to the Sacred College was under 
consideration, I expressed the desire and intention of 
celebrating the event with the least possible display. But 
you all know how my modest arrangements were dashed 
aside by the kind partiality of my friends and fellow- 
citizens of Baltimore and Maryland. Never, indeed, 
shall I forget, never shall I cease to be grateful for the 
unparalleled reception of June 6, which shall always be 
a red-letter day in the annals of our city — when the 
President and the leading members of the coordinate 
branches of the Government assembled in Armory Hall, 
with the Governor and Mayor, and City Council, and the 
prominent citizens of the city and State, to pay your 
Cardinal Archbishop an honor beyond his deserts. 

"The pleasure of this demonstration was enhanced by 
the consideration that it was so cordial and spontaneous 


and was conceived and undertaken without the slightest 
suggestion or expectation on my part. 

"Besides that civic festivity, I shall be honored on the 
15th of this month by a large concourse of my brethren 
of the Episcopate and clergy from various parts of the 
United States, Canada, Mexico and Africa, who will 
join with me in the religious celebration of the jubilee. 

"It is very natural that on an occasion like the present 
I should indulge in some reminiscences. This is a privi- 
lege of the old, in which the young cannot share. 

"All the priests that were ordained for this diocese 
with me, and before my time, have long since passed 
away, and all my Episcopal brethren with whom I began 
to labor after my consecration, forty-three years ago, 
have gone to their reward, with one solitary exception, 
and that exception is the venerable Bishop of Kansas City. 
Though I value the friendship of my junior colleagues, I 
feel a sense of loneliness in the absence of my old com- 
panions with whom I sat so often in council and with 
whom I labored so long in the vineyard of the Lord. 

"It may be interesting as well as consoling to institute 
a comparison between the Church of 1861 and its present 
situation after half a century. In 1861 the Archbishops 
and Bishops of the United States numbered 48. The 
priests were 2,064. The number of churches with priests 
attached was 2,042, and the Catholic population was es- 
timated at 1,860,000. 

"The number of Archbishops and Bishops today in 
charge of Sees amounts to 96, twice as many as existed in 
1861. The priests amount to 17,000, an increase of more 
than eight-fold. There are 13,500 churches, nearly a 
seven-fold increase. We have about 15,000,000 Church 
members, eight times as many as existed in the United 
States in 1861. 

"But the progress of religion in our country is to be 


estimated not only by the augmentation of the number 
of communicants but also by a more efficient coordination 
and discipline. The clergy, in 1861, were as detached 
squadrons compared to the compact and well-marshaled 
army of today. 

"Half a century ago the prelates and clergy labored 
under many adverse circumstances. In widely extended 
parts of the country they had to minister to the faithful 
scattered over a vast expanse of territory, without or- 
ganized parishes, often without churches wherein to wor- 
ship, and without Catholic schools. They had but scant 
resources to sustain them. Frequently they had to con- 
tend with deep-rooted prejudices. 

"Now, thank God, we have in most places parishes 
well organized. Churches have multiplied from the At- 
lantic to the Pacific. Parochial schools have become the 
rule instead of the exception in the large centres of popu- 
lation. A generous laity are usually able and always 
willing to aid our missionaries. An unfriendly feeling 
still exists in some quarters, as a result of long standing 
traditions and a biased education. But the mists of preju- 
dice are gradually disappearing before the sunlight of 

"Let me address you, my junior brethren of this Epis- 
copate and the clergy. Oh I you who are now in the full 
tide of physical and intellectual vigor, I congratulate you, 
for your lives are fallen in pleasant places. What a rich 
field is open to your apostolic zeal ! 

"You represent the highest authority in the world, the 
Lord of Hosts Himself. You go forth as the envoys not 
of an earthly potentate, but of the King of kings and Lord 
of lords. And if it is a great distinction for any Ameri- 
can citizen to represent his country before the courts of 
Europe, how much greater is the honor you enjoy of rep- 
resenting the court of Heaven before the nations of the 
earth I 'For Christ,' says the Apostle, 'we are ambassa- 


dors, God, as it were, exhorting by us.' How beautiful on 
the mountain are the feet of Him that bringeth good tid- 
ings and that preacheth peace, of Him that showeth forth 
good ; that preacheth salvation ; that saith to Zion : 'My 
God shall reign.' 

"Your mission is to an enlightened American people 
who are manly and generous, open to conviction and who 
will give you a patient hearing. The American race 
forms the highest type of a Christian nation when its 
natural endowments of truth, justice and indomitable 
energy are engrafted on the supernatural virtues of faith, 
hope and charity." 

Gibbons proceeded to advise the junior clergy as to 
their conduct, exhorting them to shed luster upon the 
cause of religion and that "as citizens of the United 
States, you should take a prominent part in every measure 
that conduces to the progress of the commonwealth." 
Launching then into the general civic message which he 
wished to deliver, he said: 

"At the present moment there are three political prob- 
lems which are engaging the serious attention of our pub- 
lic men. 

"It is proposed that United States Senators should be 
elected by popular vote instead of being chosen by the 
Legislatures, as is prescribed by the Constitution. 

"It is proposed that the acts of our Legislatures before 
they have the force of law, should be submitted to the 
suffrage of the people, who would have the right of veto. 

"It is proposed to recall or remove an unpopular judge 
before the expiration of his term of office. 

"No one questions the ability, the sincerity and patrio- 
tism of the advocates of these changes in our organic laws. 
But I hope I may not be presumptuous in saying that, in 


my opinion, the wisdom of the proposed amendments 
must be seriously questioned. 

"The election of Senators by the votes of the people 
involves the destruction of a strong bulwark against dan- 
gerous popular encroachments. The reason given for this 
contemplated change is that many of our State Legisla- 
tures are charged with being venal, and that it is easier 
to corrupt the Legislature than the whole people. 

"In reply I would say : If you cannot trust the mem- 
bers of the Legislature, how can you trust their constitu- 
ents from whom they spring? If you cannot confide in 
our Legislatures you cannot confide in human govern- 
ment nor in human nature itself. 

"If a few of our Legislatures have been found guilty of 
bribery, it is most unjust to involve all the others in their 
condemnation. I have sufficient confidence in the moral 
integrity of our Legislatures to be convinced that the 
great majority of them have never bent the knee to 

"To give to the masses the right of annulling the acts 
of the Legislature is to substitute mob law for established 

"To recall a judge because his decisions do not meet 
with popular approval is an .insult to the dignity, the 
independence and the self-respect of our judiciary. Far 
less menacing to the Commonwealth is an occasional cor- 
rupt or incompetent judge than one who would be the 
habitual slave of a capricious multitude and have his ear 
to the ground trying to ascertain the will of the populace. 

"The Constitution of the United States is the palla- 
dium of our liberties and a landmark in our march of 
progress. That instrument has been framed by the anx- 
ious cares and enlightened zeal of the fathers of the re- 
public. Its wisdom has been tested and successfully 
proved after a trial of a century and a quarter. 

"It has weathered the storms of the century which is 


passed and it should be trusted for the centuries to come. 
What has been good enough for our fathers ought to be 
good enough for us. Every change, either in the political 
or religious world, is not a reformation. 'Better to bear 
the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.' 

"Every man that runs about waving a new panacea for 
social evils is not to be worshiped as a political and moral 
reformer. We all remember the story of 'Aladdin or the 
wonderful lamp.' Better to trust to the old lamp of the 
fathers which has guided the steps of the American people 
for generations than to confide in every ignis fatuus that 
may lead us into dangerous pitfalls. Do not disturb the 
political landmarks of our republic." 

Public interest in Gibbons was keyed up by the ap- 
proach of the ecclesiastical celebration, and his words 
were telegraphed throughout the country. While they 
were not sufficient to stay the movement for the consti- 
tutional change as to the election of Senators, they added 
a weighty influence to other forces which were being ex- 
erted against the adoption of the initiative, referendum 
and recall and which prevented those innovations from 
obtaining more than a scant foothold in a few of the 

A week later the devoted co-worker of Gibbons, Arch- 
bishop Ireland, in an address at a banquet of the Society 
of the Army of the Tennessee in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 
echoed his views and this second deliverance served fur- 
ther to concentrate attention upon the subject. With a 
burst of that fire which had thrilled many great gather- 
ings, Ireland exclaimed: 

"Democracy, yes; mobocracy, never! And toward 
mobocracy we are now bidden to wend our way. The 


shibboleths of the clamor — the initiative, referendum, 
recall — put into general practice, as the evangelists of the 
new social gospel would fain have them, are nothing more 
nor less than the madness of Democracy. The highest 
and purest moral virtues run into extremes — become evil 
— so with Democracy. 

"May we not, it is asked, trust the people"? Yes, we 
trust the people as the framers of our Constitution trusted 
them, as the people usually trust themselves when inter- 
ests other than political are at stake, remitting those in- 
terests to experts. We trust the people when they treat 
of matters with which they are conversant. 

"In the long run American public opinion will be sure 
to right itself; the misfortune is, as we know too well, 
the people may suffer from a temporary excitement. 
From the consequences of such excitement we should 
strive to save the republic." 

A few days before the celebration in Baltimore began 
a silver service of 264 pieces, one of the handsomest and 
most costly gifts of the kind which could be presented 
to any one, was bestowed upon Gibbons in the City 
Hall as an additional mark of the esteem in which he was 
held at home. It had been purchased by means of volun- 
tary public subscriptions. The ceremony of presentation 
took place on Saturday, October 7, and was presided over 
by Mayor Preston. Gibbons was no stranger to the large 
reception room in which it took place, for he had been 
welcomed there by not a few of Mayor Preston's prede- 
cessors. This time he found himself in the midst of a 
gathering including the members of the City Council and 
the heads of the municipal departments and boards. 
Governor Crothers also joined the company. 


The mayor, in an address, hailed the Cardinal in his 
dual capacity which all recognized, saying : 

"On June 6, of the present year, in the Fifth Regiment 
Armory of our city, your Eminence was the center of one 
of the most remarkable gatherings that has ever assem- 
bled in this or any other city. The occasion was the 
fiftieth anniversary of your elevation to the priesthood 
and the twenty-fifth armiversary of your elevation to the 
Cardinalate in the great Church of which you have been 
and are such a distinguished member. 

"Renowned as you are as priest and prince of the great 
Roman Catholic Church for your many years of zealous, 
faithful and notable services in the cause of religion, you 
are no less distinguished as a man and a citizen of this 
great republic for your life of service to mankind and to 
the cause of order, morality and good government. 

"The testimonial which the committee has selected is 
the silver service which is before you, and which, as chair- 
man of that committee, it is my duty to present to you on 
its behalf and on behalf of the much greater body of your 
friends who bear a part in this testimonial. Together 
with that, I am also commissioned to present to you a 
bound volume recording the demonstration of June 6, 
the public meeting and the notable speeches that were 
there delivered and other events connected with the cele- 
bration of your golden jubilee as a priest and the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of your service as a Cardinal." 

The mayor's statement that the civic celebration in 
June had been marked by the attendance of "one of the 
most remarkable gatherings that has ever assembled in 
this or in any other city" was amplified by Governor 
Crothers, who said that it had no precedent anywhere. 

The Cardinal, in the presence of this new proof of the 


affection of his friends and neighbors, expressed thanks 
to the mayor, the members of the City Council, and the 
others who were present; and, in addition, he named a 
number of the chairmen of the committees who had been 
foremost in arranging the festivities of the year in his 
honor. The first of those whom he mentioned was John 
Gardner Murray, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of 
Maryland, of whom he said : "I hope it will not be in- 
vidious to mention in a particular manner the Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Murray, chairman of the committee on recep- 
tion." The Cardinal promised that the silver service 
would be "preserved in the archiepiscopal household for 
generations to come," adding: 

"It will serve as a souvenir to those who come after us 
of the close ties of friendship that bound together myself, 
my fellow-citizens and friends of Baltimore and Mary- 
land, and it will be an incentive to my successors to cul- 
tivate the same happy fraternal relations." 

A celebration in honor of Gibbons without some form 
of participation by the Catholic University would have 
seemed to him like a celebration in honor of a part of him- 
self, but not the whole. This time the participation took 
a singularly happy turn. The trustees of the university 
decided to erect a new hall of handsome proportions, one 
of the massive group that had sprung up on the ample 
acres of the university seat, as it seemed, out of mists of 
doubt and difficulty and struggle, and called it Cardinal 
Gibbons Memorial Hall. They asked the Cardinal to 
lay the cornerstone at his jubilee. 

Nothing could have made a stronger appeal to him 


than this. He joined in the plan with a zest which the 
enthusiasm of youth could not have exceeded, and every 
step that was taken to prepare for the erection of the 
hall was a new joy to him. It was, of course, no easy 
task to raise the $250,000 needed for this new project 
for an institution whose rapid growth had made the draw- 
ing upon every source of prospective revenue an incessant 
and never satisfied need; but subscriptions began to flow 
in when the plan became known, and the financing of the 
building became easier. 

Gibbons laid the cornerstone on Friday, October 12, 
in the presence of many prelates, and an assemblage of 
Catholic scholarship seldom equaled in America. Arch- 
bishop Farley, the vice-president of the trustees, deliv- 
ered the principal address and spoke of Gibbons as the 
"honor and glory of the Church in America," the "most 
beloved man" in that Church. He said that the hour and 
the man for the accomplishment of the long-cherished 
university project had been found at the Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, whence Gibbons, the presiding offi- 
cer and dominating figure of that conclave, had gone 
forth commissioned by the prelates to take up the work, 
relying upon faith in things unseen, rather than upon any 
practical prospect of making a start at that time. Arch- 
bishop Farley reviewed the steps that had been taken in 
organizing the university and continued: 

"While the responsibility in general for the working 
of the institution rests on the board of trustees, the cen- 
tral pivot in which every movement of the great and 
growing mechanism of the institution turned was the 
chairman of the board, the chancellor of the university. 


In times of stress all learned to turn to him ; to him every- 
one looked for inspiration in each new departure in the 
career of the institution, and in every change and circum- 
stance he was found equal to the demand. 

"But while Cardinal Gibbons thus rendered invaluable 
service from the beginning in every juncture, never in its 
history was his indomitable courage, the most needed ele- 
ment in the rise of every vast undertaking, so notably 
shown as in the dark days of its greatest trial. For trials 
it has had in common with all great things begun for God 
and the good of religion. For then even those who loved 
the university with the love of a strong man's soul lost 
heart and hope, felt in all sincerity that the work had 
been premature and that this trial was the extremest test 
under which it must go down, to await other times and 
other men in generations to come. And these did not even 
hesitate to advise that the enterprise be abandoned. 

"Then it was that he whom we delight to honor by 
these walls proved the bulwark of the people. 'Never,* 
said he, 'while I have power to wield a pen in appeal or 
lift a voice in pleading, shall this work of religion stop. 
God wills it; the work must go on.' 

"And he triumphed, aye, almost alone. Yes, in that 
fruitful time he might be said to have trod the winepress 
alone. And today is laid upon his venerable brow the 
crown which is the fruit of this 'courage of the cross.' 

"If today the Catholic University stands forth before 
the world a thing of beauty and of fairest promise, fairer 
and more prosperous than at any time in her history, no 
longer a source of painful anxiety, not only for its future 
but for its very existence, it is, under God, wholly due 
to the indomitable labor of his Eminence Cardinal 

"It is said. Tut not your trust in princes.' In this our 
Prince of the Church we have trusted, and we have not 
been confounded. His princedom is not of this world. 


He worked and prayed and hoped in the Lord and has 
not been disappointed. 

"These things, too, he has done for the university not 
only while he was laboring in his own diocese, but while 
his influence was being cast in favor of every good and 
patriotic cause throughout the length and breadth of the 
land. And with it all he seems to grow, like the eagle. 
The winter of discontent seems never to have dawned for 
him, but rather does he seem to enjoy a perpetual Indian 
summer. May it be long so." 

In the brilliancy of that autumn day Gibbons' mind 
wandered back to the physical gloom that had enshrouded 
the gathering which had assembled at the laying of the 
first cornerstone of the university. Speaking a few words 
of hopefulness before pronouncing the benediction, he 

"I cannot fail to contrast that other day of more than 
twenty years ago, when the first cornerstone of this uni- 
versity was laid, with the bright sunshine that now con- 
fronts us. Rain fell in torrents that day. Now the skies 
are cloudless and we are deluged with sunshine. It sug- 
gests to me the words of Holy Scripture which tell us 
that they who sow in tears shall reap in joy." 

The Cardinal congratulated the university on its suc- 
cess and prosperity and said : 

'T earnestly hope that before the winter's snows fall 
the central tower of the building will be completed and 
we will wait upon Providence to enable us to finish the 
eastern wing. I thank the past benefactors of the uni- 
versity who have contributed toward this building and 
hope that you and your friends will enable us soon to com- 
plete the other wing." 


Such a concourse of the Catholic Hierarchy as trod the 
aisles of the Baltimore Cathedral on the following Sun- 
day, the day of the main religious celebration of the 
jubilee, had never before assembled — could not before 
have been assembled — to honor any man in America. 
There were ten Archbishops, including the Papal Dele- 
gate, Mgr. Falconio, and forty-seven Bishops, many mon- 
signori, abbots, the faculties of the Catholic University 
and St. Mary's Seminary, priests and students. Some of 
them came from remote regions of the country. Ireland, 
of St. Paul, was there, of course. His tall form, upon 
which storms of controversy had beaten almost unceas- 
ingly for years, now seemed bent, his hair somewhat sil- 
vered, but ardent affection for his leader still inspired him 
as before. There were Farley, about to be made a Car- 
dinal, and, with O'Connell, of Boston, to be the first 
American princes of the Church elevated in twenty-five 
years, during which time Gibbons alone held that distinc- 
tion; Glennon, of St. Louis, gifted as an orator; Blenk, 
of New Orleans, the city which, next to Baltimore, 
claimed Gibbons as its own, and which only less than 
Baltimore joined in spirit in the celebration; Prender- 
gast, of Philadelphia ; Quigley, of Chicago, and Moeller, 
of Cincinnati. Archbishop Bruchesi came from Montreal 
to convey the felicitations of Canadian Catholics. 

As Gibbons entered the Cathedral at the end of the 
long procession, the choir burst forth in a choral march 
composed for the occasion whose tones proclaimed: 

"Hero I Thus do men acclaim him 
Though he wields no warrior's sword." 


The splendid services which followed were crowned 
with the approbation of Pius X, from whom the follow- 
ing letter was read : ^ 

''To our beloved son, James Cardinal Gibbons, Car- 
dinal Priest of the title of St. Mary in Trastevere, Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore, Pius PP. X. Health and Apostolic 

"Beloved Son — We have heard with gladness that all 
the Bishops and the clergy of the United States, also 
many distinguished men in every walk of life, are about 
to celebrate your twofold jubilee, the fiftieth anniversary 
of your ordination to the priesthood and the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of your entry into the College of Cardinals. 
Such universal joy at the forthcoming celebration of both 
events proves to us the high esteem and the great venera- 
tion in which you are held by all, not alone because of 
your exalted office, but also because of your many gifts 
of mind and character well known to us, not to speak of 
the remarkable zeal that you display for the glory of the 
Most High and the welfare of souls. 

"The esteem and praise bestowed on the person of the 
Bishop not only redound, as all know, to the honor and 
splendor of his own church, but also serve to adorn the 
universal Church of Christ. No one, therefore, has 
greater reason than we, the chief pastor of the Catholic 
religion, for deeply rejoicing at these festivities that give 
us an excellent occasion of manifesting our particular 
affection for you. 

"With our whole heart we congratulate you and we 
pray God that He may richly reward the abundant merits 
of your piety. May He bestow upon you for many years 
to come His most abundant graces and draw ever more 
closely to you the hearts of your own devoted and loving 
^Archives of the Baltimore Cathedral 


"As an evidence of the special love we bear you and a 
harbinger of eternal happiness we add to our good wishes 
the Apostolic benediction. Very lovingly do we grant it 
to yourself, your clergy and the people confided to your 
care, likewise to all who participate in the celebration of 
the aforesaid jubilees. 

"Given at St. Peter's, Rome, the 7th of May, in the 
year iQii, and the eighth year of our Pontificate. 

"Pius PP. X." 

Glennon and Blenk were the voices of the Church in 
this country who, in the preacher's place at the Pontifical 
Mass and the Vesper service respectively, bespoke the 
thoughts of American Catholics about their revered chief. 
The Archbishop of St. Louis declared that his purpose 
was "solely to tell the truth" about the Cardinal, not to 
flatter, and he held to it. The position of his Eminence, 
he said, was unique not alone in Church history, but in 
world history as well. Glennon proceeded : 

"In the defense of social order; in the promotion of 
human right; in the supreme effort to maintain the social 
fabric and the institutions of our beloved country, no 
voice in all the broad land is today as potent, no person- 
ality so influential as that of our beloved Cardinal. 

"Indeed the position of Cardinal Gibbons is unique 
not alone in Church history, but in world history as well. 
There have been great Cardinals in the centuries that are 
gone — Wolsey, Richelieu — but the opportunity of their 
greatness arose in part at least from the union of Church 
and State that then existed, and history tells us that they 
served their king with far more zeal than they served their 
God. We have had great Cardinals in modern times — 
Wiseman, Manning, Newman — and again in part their 
greatness came from the noble defense they made of .a 
Church that was persecuted. 


"We may not deny their greatness, their learning, their 
consecration ; but, unlike any one member of either group, 
our Cardinal stands with the same devotion to his coun- 
try as Richelieu had for France, cultivating a citizenship 
as unstained as Newman, and while reaching out to a 
broader democracy than even Cardinal Manning, he still 
remains pre-eminent in his unquestioned devotion to Holy 

"And so, my friends, you have before you some of the 
titles his Eminence has to our respect and reverence; so 
many reasons why you should thank God that he so 
blessed His servant and thereby blessed us all. 

"Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, philosopher, lawgiver, chan- 
cellor, yes, and let us not omit through all these high- 
sounding titles that other — the first we notice, the last we 
may forget — 

'For he is gracious if he be observed 
He hath a tear for pity and a hand 
Open as day for meeting charity.' 

"Yes, Cardinal Gibbons is a kindly, gentle man." 

Archbishop Blenk spoke in an analytical vein of the 
personality of Gibbons. Hundreds of men who were 
present, in and out of the Hierarchy and the priesthood, 
felt that they knew Gibbons as a familiar friend. Blenk 
put into words the thoughts which clamored for expres- 
sion within those who were capable of understanding him. 
The head of the See of New Orleans had learned to know 
him exceptionally well through intimate contact during 
the Lenten visits of Gibbons to that city, and he revealed 
the Cardinal intimately, as it were, to those in the multi- 
tude who had no opportunity of observing him at close 
range and in every aspect. He said: 


"No single treasure yielded us by these golden years 
is more precious, it seems to me, than the revelation of 
the Cardinal's personality. Rich in varied gifts, it is 
above all remarkable for a perfect balance of powers, for 
a happy blending of qualities that meet but rarely in one 
person. We perceive in him a natural nobility and ele- 
vation of soul, an innate dignity of character, a winning 
simplicity, an unfailing courtesy, an instinctive and al- 
most unerring sense of whatsoever is just, is right, is true 
and noble ; a charity unfeigned, that excludes no man and 
no class of men, that heeds no prejudice, cherishes no ran- 
cor, rises above injury, harbors no resentment, is single- 
minded in its devotion to the good of others; a faith un- 
clouded and undimmed that receives the words of the 
Divine Saviour with the simplicity of a child, penetrates 
their meaning with the keenness of a sage and makes their 
spirit his second nature; a faith that can be sure of itself 
without impugning the sincerity of others who receive it 
not ; a whole-hearted faith, ardent in its zeal to convince, 
yet never intemperate; a faith that is Catholic in every 
fibre and absolutely loyal to the Vicar of Christ, reposing 
undisturbed on that rock which unbelief, ignorance, 
hatred and misguided zeal have beat against, age after 
age, in vain assault; a mind devoid of all pretensions, 
humble, open, and even now, on the verge of fourscore, 
willing to learn; intent upon the practical, averse to 
subtleties, aiming at the heart of a question and reaching 
it with rare insight ; a mind firm in its grasp of ideas and 
principles, clear in conception and always simple, direct 
and clear in exposition, faultless in tact and sure in knowl- 
edge of the mind it seeks to persuade ; conscious of its own 
rectitude, respectful of adversaries, giving no cause of 
offense, yet speaking out the truth with warmth and 
without tremor of fear; gifted with the supreme endow- 
ment of wisdom and good sense, free from illusory 
schemes, yet ever hopeful and buoyant; in all things a 


good, true and wise man, a gentleman, a priest of God, 
a Bishop and Prince of the Church. 

"God meant him for a leader of his people. Looking 
back over that long life, we can now discern the special 
Providence that guided his every step and prepared him 
for his destined work. We see him nurtured in the love 
of religion and virtue; we see him led by Providence in 
boyhood to the Isle of Saints, where his spirit waxed 
strong in the pure air of Catholic faith; we see him deeply 
impressed in youth by a remarkable man whose ardent 
missionary zeal was made all the more yearning by ad- 
miration and love for his countrymen; we see him pass 
into that school which stamped forever the ideals of the 
priesthood upon his very soul. 

"Since twenty-five years ago, he has been 'Our Car- 
dinal,' and there is no doubt that the dignity has added 
not only a distinction to his personality but new force to 
his influence. The Cardinal's robes, it is true, are a trial 
as well as an honor. In them the small man appears 
smaller, but the man of high moral stature, the church- 
man of wisdom and broad intelligence, stands forth in 
greater vigor and grace. Cardinal Gibbons has stood the 

"How long he has held the nation as his audience! 
Great orators and statesmen have risen since then and 
gained the ear of the people; today they are heard no 
more. Presidents have come and gone, and already the 
memory of some is beginning to grow dim. But all during 
this quarter century the Cardinal has grown in influence ; 
today, as for many years past — can I not truly say*? — 
there is no other speaker upon topics of abiding interest 
whom the American people hear so gladly. 

"He could not speak as your pastor only, O Catholic 
people of Maryland; as Cardinal, as Primate of the 
American Hierarchy, as Bishop of the National Capital, 
he belongs to the whole country. Many, indeed, outside 


the Church listen to him as to the 'Voice of Religion,' for 
prejudice disarms when the Cardinal speaks. 

"He, more than any other among us, has directed the 
course of Catholicism in our land. But, above all, he has 
expressed most truly and most clearly the Catholic 
thought and sentiment of America and thereby crystal- 
lized them ; he has been our representative to this age and 
nation. His influence, overflowing into all the channels 
of our life, cannot be adequately described, but I would 
invite you, my brethren, to consider it in its relation to 
the national sentiment, to the moral and social better- 
ment of the people and to the religious life of the nation." 

Even more than at the services in the Cathedral the 
affection of the Hierarchy and priesthood for Gibbons 
was shown in the atmosphere which pervaded a dinner 
in honor of the visiting Bishops, held on the same day at 
St. Mary's Seminary. With restraint removed, there 
was a singular demonstration of what may be termed 
the general state of mind — the morale, it would be called 
in secular life — of the higher organization of the Church 
in this country. Under Gibbons, a born leader, as his 
colleagues had abundantly testified, the spirit of devotion 
to their chief, the happy personal relations existing be- 
tween them and him and the inspiration to general har- 
mony and aggressive work would have served as a model 
for any man whose life is spent in the organization of 
large material undertakings. 

Gibbons was not more ready to lead than the Bishops 
and clergy were to follow. Possessing an almost unique 
faculty for reaching into the inner lives of a great number 
of persons, even the remembrance of whose names would 
overtax the memory of an ordinary individual, he had 


bound them to him by the strongest ties. They trusted 
and loved him and believed in his justice; more than that, 
they saw in his leadership a powerful force which made 
their own efforts visibly more fruitful in dioceses through- 
out the land. Their own standing in the public view 
was enhanced by his prestige. If any scoffer doubted that 
the Catholic Church produced the highest and best type 
of manhood, the choice fruit and flower of religious life, 
they could point to Gibbons. He was an exemplar for 
the whole Church and a help to the whole Church. His 
unceasing labors for years, often in the face of discour- 
agements that would have crushed a less resolute soul, 
seeing clearly where the view was dark to others, heeding 
not misunderstanding and distrust, had become an influ- 
ence which was felt in the humblest mission in the land, 
no less than in the splendid temples of the Catholic faith 
whose spires pointed to heaven in the seats of the archi- 
episcopal sees. 

This discipline, using the word in its ordinary and not 
its ecclesiastical sense, was the discipline of armies which 
win battles; of governments which accomplish large and 
sustained results; of great industrial undertakings whose 
activities span the civilized world. To whatever extent 
it had existed in the Church in America before, it had 
been greatly amplified by Gibbons. He had inspired 
every Catholic with a new spirit of confidence. 

The unity and obedience which are fundamental in the 
system of the Church must produce cohesion always. 
Thus she proceeds serenely as a compact unit upon her 
mission to the souls of men. In the same general sense, 
but of course by different methods and for different aims, 


armies are disciplined, obeying their officers according to 
gradations of rank; but not every army conquers, how- 
ever obedient to the will and guidance of its leader. Gib- 
bons inspired American Catholics much in the same way 
that the great generals of history have inspired their 
troops. Whatever successes they were able to win with- 
out him, their potency was multiplied by the consummate 
skill of their leader and the conquering enthusiasm which 
he inspired by means of his own personality. 

In the addresses at the feast of good feeling at the 
seminary, words proceeded straight from the hearts of 
those who spoke them. Simple truth and affectionate 
hope predominated. Archbishop Farley went so far as 
to express the wish that "before he is gathered to the 
golden gate of eternity our American Cardinal might pass 
still higher to the one great place in Rome," meaning 
of course, the Papacy. 

Archbishop Ireland declared that "it was Cardinal 
Gibbons who was the chief factor in bringing home to the 
American Church the opportunities for growth and suc- 
cess under the guidance of this free country." He pro- 
ceeded : 

"Often as I watched with straining eyes this ship of 
ours I asked myself 'How is it in Baltimore *?' for I knew 
that Cardinal Gibbons was there. I knew his power and 
prestige — whether it be a question of political or ecclesias- 
tical importance — and I knew that standing there on the 
deck of our ship Cardinal Gibbons was at the helm. And 
let me tell you that he always gave the helm the right 

"The providential gift to America in the last fifty 
years was James Gibbons. I have differed with him 


sometimes as I watched Baltimore to see how things were 
going. I thought that perhaps his Eminence might go 
faster, or he might go slower, or that he might go 
straighter instead of taking the roundabout path, but 
when all was over he had given the helm the right twist." 

Bishop Donahue, of Wheeling, recalling the years he 
spent in the household of Gibbons, said : 

"They say you must live with a man to know him, and 
if that be true, then, privileged as I was to live at the 
archiepiscopal residence with his Eminence, I found my 
superior a prelate worthy of the best ages of faith, a liv- 
ing, breathing exponent of all that was good in a Car- 
dinal of the Holy Catholic Church." 

Bishop Donahue then, in a delicately humorous man- 
ner which made the Cardinal smile, told of some of his 
personal traits, and said: 

"His Eminence is a painful model of punctuality and 
the virtue of doing the most with the time God gives us 
here on earth. Many a high prelate of this distinguished 
presence has caught a train by a hair's breadth and hung 
on by his coat tails only to find his Eminence safely with- 
in the arms of a chair inside the car. Punctuality, how- 
ever, while a virtue of the Cardinal, is not a cardinal vir- 
tue, and while you can't teach old persons new tricks I 
recommend this virtue to the young priests here assem- 

There were many other expressions of love and grati- 
tude. Gibbons had not expected to make any response, 
but he was so overwhelmed by the evident sincerity of 
his brethren that he was moved to reconsider his decision. 
He exclaimed : 


"Honors I have had in my life until I am almost 
ashamed, but I assure you, in the presence of God, that I 
cherish one grain of your love more than all the lauda- 
tions which have been heaped upon me. When I con- 
trast the difficulties which encompassed us in the former 
days and the enlightened conditions of to-day, with 
prejudice almost entirely swept away, I see a great vision 
of a future when there shall be but one God, one faith 
and one baptism." 

Such an occasion as the jubilee could not fail to de- 
velop many anecdotes of association with Gibbons, or 
influences which he had produced. Monsignor Patter- 
son, of Boston, told of addressing a large class of young 
men, and asking if some one of them would mention the 
name of a truly great man. A member of the class, who 
had met the Cardinal and heard him preach, at once 
mentioned Gibbons. Monsignor Patterson asked why he 
considered the Cardinal a truly great man. 

"Because," replied the young student, "he is a truly 
humble man." 

On the following night, Monday, there was a public 
parade in Baltimore in honor of the jubilee. Those who 
organized it, and who did not lack the optimism cus- 
tomary in such cases, had predicted that twenty thousand 
persons would march. When the time came to compute 
the number actually in line, it was found that they had 
swelled to thirty-one thousand. 

The parade was made up of Catholic organizations 
from Baltimore and Washington and groups from par- 
ishes, many of whom were in emblematic costumes. Gib- 
bons reviewed the procession from the Cathedral portico, 


and was naturally amazed at the extent of it. In a letter 
of thanks to those who had participated, he wrote : 

"They were great moments when I sat in front of the 
Cathedral and viewed the noble throng passing." 

Gibbons was particularly active in encouraging lay 
organizations within the Church, and one of the events 
of his jubilee was a general convention in Baltimore of 
the Holy Name Society, whose aim is to suppress pro- 
fanity and immorality in general. He made an address 
to the convention in which he exhorted the members to 
renewed efforts. 

There were numerous receptions and other events in 
honor of the festivities of the week, and on Thursday a 
special service was held at the Cathedral for children. 
Delegations visited Gibbons, presenting to him addresses 
and gifts, the latter including a rosary of gold nuggets 
from the Knights of Columbus. At St. Mary's Industrial 
School, the institution for boys in which he found so 
often vent for his desire to show his interest in the young, 
a large chapel named in his honor had just been erected, 
and he was present at the services of dedication. So far 
did his interest in the school extend that he sometimes 
turned aside from his greatest preoccupations to pay a 
visit to it, or to lend his advice and guidance upon some 
subject connected with its management or discipline. The 
welfare of a waif seemed no less precious to him than the 
welfare of a President. 


The records of written and spoken words leave no 
doubt that there was a distinct vein of the prophetic in 
Gibbons. We have already seen that on that Good 
Friday night in 1865 when Lincoln was assassinated he 
preached in Baltimore a few hours before the President 
was stricken down, picturing the general outline of the 
circumstances of that event without any conscious idea 
that the "benevolent ruler" of whose sudden end he was 
speaking, apparently as an imaginative simile, was the 
head of his own nation. Another instance was given on 
the morning of February 7, 1904, when the great Balti- 
more fire began, whose ravages spread within one hun- 
dred yards of the archiepiscopal residence and would 
have destroyed it had not the wind changed. 

It was the first Sunday of the month, and, as usual on 
such occasions, the Cardinal had prepared in advance a 
sermon to be delivered at the Cathedral. The topic which 
he had chosen for his discourse was "The Uses of Ad- 
versity," and it could scarcely have been more appropri- 
ate had he intended it directly for the guidance of the 
congregation with full knowledge of the impending 
calamity. He enumerated some of the reverses of for- 
tune to which human beings are subject, such as a fall 



from opulence to poverty and a sudden visitation of 
Providence, and proceeded: 

"If tribulation is a law of human life, it is also, thank 
God, a law and condition of Christian progress and per- 
fection. . . . The teaching of Christian philosophy with 
regard to the uses of adversity may be summed up in one 
short sentence — that it is to be borne with patience and 
even with joy. . . . What we call accidents are links 
in the chain of our immortal destiny." 

Enumerating afflictions to be borne with patience, he 
gave the illustration of a person inordinately attached 
to earthly riches, in whose case "a financial crash comes 
which reduces you to straitened circumstances. You are 
thereby admonished to accept the situation in the spirit 
of Job, and to say with him 'The Lord hath given and the 
Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the 
Lord.' " 

He warned against considering any trial as crushing, 
quoting from the Persian poet Sadi as follows : 

"Once I murmured at the vicissitudes of fortune when 
my feet were bare, and I had not the means of procuring 
shoes. I entered a mosque with a heavy heart, and there 
beheld a man deprived of his feet. I offered up my 
praise and thanksgiving to Heaven for its bounty, and 
bore with patience the want of shoes." 

The admonition was especially appropriate to the con- 
gregation of the Cathedral, which embraced an excep- 
tionally large proportion of the wealthy men whose places 
of business in downtown Baltimore were about to be 
reduced to ruins. 


As the service began, there had been no indication that 
a great fire had started, but when Gibbons left the 
church after its conclusion he found the streets thronged 
with excited people and resounding with the clang of fire 
engines. Some hours later, large embers began to fall on 
the Cathedral grounds and an ash tree in the yard, naked 
of foliage in the winter wind, caught fire. All that day 
and the next the conflagration continued, causing a loss 
estimated at $125,000,000 and visiting upon Baltimore 
one of the most appalling blows which any American city 
ever sustained.^ 

Gibbons had arranged to start for New Orleans for a 
visit to his brother on the evening of the first day of the 
fire, and he left before the disaster had reached its full 
extent. Not until he arrived in New Orleans did he learn 
that the principal business district of the city, the dis- 
trict in which he had been accustomed to take many of 
his noonday walks, had been laid in ashes. 

The treasured archives of the diocese, from Carroll's 
time down, were stored in his residence and would have 
been destroyed had the flames swept only a little further 
north. His predecessors had been content to leave them 
in loose heaps or in barrels, but he had taken pains to 
have them carefully sorted out and indexed in a manner 
worthy of their value. The danger to which they were 
subjected by the great fire was not forgotten. By his 
direction the archives were removed to a space beneath 
the Cathedral, where they were comparatively safe from 
another disaster of the same kind. 

In some of the chief events of his life his course was 

*HalI, History of Baltimore, p. 343. 


such as to seem, in the light of future events, to have 
been based upon fore-knowledge. When struggling 
against ecclesiastical condemnation of the Knights of 
Labor, he had taken the ground that that organization 
contained within itself the seeds of dissolution, and that 
in a short time it would probably be so insignificant in 
importance that the ban of the Church against it would 
mean little, while condemnation would be taken as a di- 
rect rebuke to the general aspiration of labor to organize 
for its own betterment. This view, amply verified later, 
he expressed at a time when many observers of the situa- 
tion were predicting that the organization of the Knights 
would spread to such gigantic proportions that it would 
dominate the political life of the country and become 
in effect a dictatorship. 

Again, had Gibbons possessed knowledge that the 
World W^ar was little more than a decade and a half 
distant, he could scarcely have been more urgent in de- 
manding that the Cahensly movement for solidifying for- 
eign national groups in the Church in America should be 
throttled. His course throughout the struggle against 
Cahenslyism appeared to be based upon a realization that 
the danger of foreign influence impairing American unity 
was at the door of his country instead of being remote, 
as so many leaders of public opinion were inclined to 
think. He summoned every resource at his command in 
order to stay the movement, almost as if he had been 
engaged in the physical defense of the country against 
an alien invader. His effort was put forth, as if by in- 
sight, so that it would begin to produce the maximum ef- 
fect about the time the World War actually began. In 


view of the fact that the obstacles to coalescing public 
sentiment in the United States without a period of prep- 
aration after the European nations were already locked in 
conflict were one of the chief causes which delayed 
American participation with the Allies, it is not difficult 
to take the view that the campaign against Cahenslyisni 
waged by Gibbons in the years 1886-1891 was nothing 
short of a providential forerunner of the course of 

Gibbons bestowed upon the Catholic University the 
affection which a devoted parent might lavish upon a 
favorite child. "From the beginning," he said, "the 
university has been for me an object of deepest personal 
concern. Through its growth and through all the vicissi- 
tudes which it has experienced, it has been very near to 
my heart. It has cost me, in anxiety and tension of spirit, 
far more than any other of the duties or cares which have 
fallen to my lot. But for this reason, I feel a greater 
satisfaction in its progress." ^ Pius X, in a letter to 
Gibbons encouraging the work of the university in 1912, 
wrote that "we have good reason to congratulate first of 
all you, beloved son, to whose solicitous and provident 
care we ascribe the prosperous condition of the uni- 

A blow which almost crushed Gibbons was the failure 
in business in 1904 of Thomas E. Waggaman, treasurer 
of the university, as a result of which $850,000 of its in- 
vestments were temporarily lost and never fully regained. 
He was overwhelmed by this at first; but threw all his 
strength into a determined effort to recover for the uni- 

" Bishop Shahan in the Ecclesiastical Revieiv, May, 1921. 


versity what it had lost. Contributions were sent to him 
by non-Catholics as well as Catholics, including not a 
few from men prominent in public life who had learned 
to admire him, and to whom the pathetic aspect of his 
loss strongly appealed. 

Some large gifts were subsequently made to the uni- 
versity, and these sustained Gibbons in his hopefulness 
for the institution. He wrote a letter of warm apprecia- 
tion to the Knights of Columbus in June, 1913, when 
they presented $500,000 to the institution for the per- 
petual education of fifty lay students there. The Knights 
had previously given $50,000 to found a chair of Ameri- 
can history. He lived to see the resources of the uni- 
versity reach a total valuation of $5,000,000. 

April 15, 19,15, was one of the brightest days of the 
Cardinal's life, for then the university, in the presence 
of a great gathering of the Hierarchy and clergy, cele- 
brated the twenty-fifth anniversary of its opening. He 
delivered the sermon at a Pontifical High Mass cele- 
brated in St. Patrick's Church, Washington, to mark 
the event, saying: 

"The experience of these twenty-five years empha- 
sizes the needs which the university aims to supply — 
the need of Divine truth to complete our human knowl- 
edge, of Divine justice as the highest sanction of law, of 
the spirit of Christ in our ministrations of mercy and love. 
There is no real liberty without law, and there is no 
meaning or validity to law unless it be observed. 

"The growth of democracy does not imply that each 
man shall become a law unto himself, but that he shall 
feel in himself the obligation to obey. If the enacting 
power has been transferred from the will of the ruler 


to the will of the people, the binding, coercive power 
has been laid with greater stress of responsibility than 
ever before upon the individual conscience. 

"Unless men be taught that obedience is right and 
honorable and necessary alike for private interest and 
the public weal, legislation will avail but little, the law- 
making power will become a mockery and the people 
themselves will complain that legislation has been car- 
ried to excess. 

"But conscience has need of a higher sanction than 
any merely human sense of justice. To meet the require- 
ments of our religious, social and political situation is a 
duty that we owe to the Church and to our country. To 
fulfill it we must combine our efforts, and I rejoice that 
in the Catholic University a centre of thought and action 
has been provided." 

A letter from Benedict XV was read, commending the 
institution in the highest terms, and felicitating it upon 
the work which it was doing for the people among whom 
it was planted. He wrote: 

"We love, nay, we dearly cherish the American people, 
forceful as they are with the vigor of youth and second to 
none in efficiency of action and thought. And as we ear- 
nestly desire that an ever-widening path to the highest 
level of human achievement may open before them, so 
we cannot but feel the deepest pleasure at everything that 
furthers their progress." 

Gibbons reposed great confidence in Bishop Shahan, 
the rector of the university in the closing years of his life, 
under whose administration its progress consoled him for 
some of his earlier disappointments. 

He often took the opportunity on important ecclesias- 


tical occasions to implant the view that the performance 
of civic duty was a part of a Christian's responsibility. 
At the celebration of the centenary of the New York 
archdiocese in 1908, he delivered the sermon in St. 
Patrick's Cathedral April 29, on which occasion Car- 
dinal Logue celebrated Pontifical Mass; and Arch- 
bishop Falconio, the Apostolic Delegate, imparted the 
Papal benediction. In the sermon he dwelt upon the 
strong men who had helped to build up the diocese since 
it was separated from the mother See of Baltimore by 
Pius VII. He regarded Archbishop Hughes as having 
been providentially raised to meet the exigencies of the 
times, as Carroll had been. Of the piety and learning 
of Archbishop Corrigan, his opponent in the consideration 
of so many questions on which leaders of the Church 
might naturally differ, he did not fail to speak in terms 
of warm praise. To the whole assembly he addressed this 
admonition : 

"Take an active, loyal, personal interest in all that 
concerns the temporal and spiritual welfare of our be- 
loved country. No man should be a drone in the social 
beehive. No one should be an indifferent spectator of 
the social, economic and political events occurring around 
him. As you all enjoy the protection of a strong and 
enlightened government, so should each man have a share 
in sustaining the burden of the Commonwealth. Above 
all, take an abiding and a vital interest in all that affects 
your holy religion." ^ 

Feeling that the problems of Catholics throughout the 
English-speaking countries in contending with misun- 

"McNally, The Catholic Centennial, pp. 52-61. 


derstanding were much the same, Gibbons showed an es- 
pecial desire to cooperate with his brethren of the faith 
in those countries. He accepted an invitation to attend 
the International Eucharistic Congress in Montreal in 
September, 1910. Cardinal Vincent Vannutelli at- 
tended the Congress in the capacity of Papal Legate, as 
he had attended the London congress two years before, 
but under far different circumstances; for government 
and people, in Canada, under the same flag that floated 
over the mother country, welcomed him with a cordiality 
which was in striking contrast to his cool reception in 
the British metropolis. Accompanied by Cardinals Gib- 
bons and Logue he carried the Host through the streets 
in a procession which was five hours in passing. Non- 
Catholics as well as Catholics watched reverently in the 
throngs which turned out to witness that religious spec- 
tacle, and no untoward incident marked the events of the 
day. Gibbons preached at the Pontifical High Mass in 
the Cathedral of St. James. 

"Your Eminence will be able to recount to the Holy 
Father," he said to Cardinal Vannutelli in conclusion, 
"the success which has crowned this congress from be- 
ginning to end. . . . You will speak of the solemn pub- 
lic procession through the streets of Montreal not only 
without let or hindrance, but with the cordial co-opera- 
tion and approval of the civic authorities and the piety 
and enthusiasm of the people." 

The admiration for Gibbons felt by the world-wide 
representation of Catholics assembled in the city was 
shown at a fete given in his honor by Sir Thomas George 
Shaughnessy. Soon after the close of the celebration in 


Montreal, Cardinal Vannutelli visited him in Balti- 
more, where the Roman prelate was welcomed with a 
procession in which leading men of the city escorted him 
to the Cathedral. 

Although the spirit of Gibbons rebounded from many- 
experiences which would have unnerved most men, he 
was plunged into depths of despondency when he discov- 
ered that one of his priests, the pastor of a small congre- 
gation in Baltimore, had become overwhelmed in specu- 
lation and had accumulated debts amounting to more 
than $30,000.* This priest had felt an ambition to erect 
a new church for his people, and, realizing that in their 
poverty they would be unable to pay for it, he had con- 
ceived the plan of embarking in financial ventures with 
a view to raising the money through what he vainly sup- 
posed to be his own skill in business. He paid one debt 
by contracting another until finally the nature of his 
operations became known to the Cardinal. The priest 
was removed at once from his pastorate and sent to a 
sanatorium, for the mania on the subject of speculation 
which he had developed was pronounced by medical opin- 
ion to be a form of insanity. 

Gibbons was so overcome that the priests of his house- 
hold were shocked at intervals for several days to observe 
him wringing his hands and declaring that his life had 
been wrecked — that life which had left so many 
deep impressions upon the world! That no person 
might suffer from the wrong which had been done, he 
pledged himself to pay every dollar that the priest owed, 
although there was no legal obligation upon him to do so. 

* March, 1909. 


By energetic efforts he obtained, in less than six months, 
enough funds to discharge the last of the debts. When 
attempts were made to explain the priest's conduct on 
the ground of mental irresponsibility. Gibbons would ad- 
mit no trace of excuse for it. So keenly did he feel the 
reproach which he feared would be brought upon the 
Church that it made him ill. 

A discussion which attracted marked attention in the 
Christian world in 1910 was between Cardinal Gibbons 
and Thomas A. Edison, the famous inventor, on the sub- 
ject of immortality. Edison denied the doctrine. Rea- 
soning as a material scientist, he asserted that man was 
not an individual, but a collection of myriads of individ- 
uals as a city was. He expounded his theory thus : 

"The cell, minute and little known, is the real and only 
individual. A man is made up of many million cells. 
Not being, in effect, an individual, how could he go to 
heaven or hell as an individual or be given a reward or 
punishment after death had caused the separation of his 
cells and the diffusion of their collective intelligence*? 
. . . We are no more individuals than cities are. . . . 
If you cut your hand it bleeds. Then you lose cells, and 
that is quite as if a city lost inhabitants through some 
tremendous accident." 

It was the mind, he argued, that was divine, if he 
should admit the word at all, and mind consisted of the 
collective intellect of all the cells which constituted a 
man. To punish or reward the combined soul of the 
great cell-collection would be as unjust as it would be 
impossible and "Nature is as just as she is merciless." 
Edison was careful to say that this did not affect his firm 


belief in the "great moral law," which he summed up in 
the precepts of the Golden Rule. He continued : 

"Science proves its theories, or it rejects them. I have 
never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious 
theories of heaven and hell ; of future life for individuals 
or of a personal God. . . . Proof ! Proof ! That is what 
I have always been after; that is what my mind requires 
before it can accept a theory as a fact. ... I do not 
know the soul. I know the mind. If there really is any 
soul, I have found, in my investigations, no evidence of 

Edison expressed no doubt of a Supreme Intelligence, 
but could not personify it. Life, it appeared to him, went 
on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other 
animals or even in vegetables. While life, collectively, 
must be immortal, human beings, individually, could not 
be such, he held, because they were not individuals but 
mere aggregates of cells. The core of the great scientist's 
premise, argument and conclusion was summed up in the 
declaration: "There is no supernatural." 

Cardinal Gibbons, in his reply, went to the root of the 
question by pointing out that while Edison's general 
theme was a denial, it was a denial based on assertion.^ 
He wrote: 

"The most striking assertion is his fundamental one 
that cells have intelligence. Mr. Edison does not try to 
prove it ; he asserts it over and over again. And he claims 
to accept no scientific fact without the final proof. Now, 
who ever proved the existence of an intelligent cell? 
There is not a scintilla of proof, not the beginning of a 
proof for such an assertion." 

'Columbian Magazine, March, 1911. 


The Cardinal cited as an example the remark of Mr. 
Edison that when one cuts his hand and it bleeds, there is 
a loss of cells, as if a city lost some of its inhabitants. He 
reasoned : 

"If my hand bleeds, then, according to his theory, I lose 
part of my intelligence. If I lose my hand then I lose 
more intelligence; and, as one of my friends put it, an 
appalling loss of mind would go with the loss of a leg or 
when a stout man reduces in flesh." 

It seemed to him that "what Edison really meant 
was that the mind is made up of the combined intelli- 
gence of the brain cells; but so far as science knows, 
there is no more proof of the existence of intelligence 
in a brain cell than in the cell of a potato." He pro- 
ceeded : 

"We do know that there is a connection between the 
brain and the mind, that the mind thinks through the aid 
of the brain, as it sees through the aid of the nerves of the 
eye; but that does not prove that the brain thinks any 
more than it proves that the nerves of the eyes see; no 
more even than it would prove that the strings of a violin 
enjoy their own music. If we do not know that cells 
have intelligence, how can we know that any combination 
of cells can produce intelligence? Yet Mr. Edison be- 
lieves it. . . . 

"We know nothing, then, about intelligent cells; but 
we do know that a man has an intelligent mind or soul. 
We do not distinguish between mind and soul in the way 
Mr. Edison does, in his unphilosophical terminology. 
The mind is the soul in its intellectual operations." 

The Cardinal pointed to revealed religion as proof that 
the soul endures after death and proceeded: 


''Christ brings to humanity the certainty of eternal 
life. He proved it by His own resurrection ; and, if any 
one thinks that the evidence of Christ's resurrection is 
weak, I ask him to study and think deeply over the fif- 
teenth chapter of First Corinthians. No sane scholar 
denies that we have here the testimony of St. Paul him- 
self; nor that St. Paul is honestly setting down the tes- 
timony of those who claim to have seen our Lord after 
his death. If so many sane men, Apostles and Disciples 
of Christ, are mistaken; if they can not believe the testi- 
many of their own eyes, if delusion can keep such a firm 
hold on so many different characters for so many years 
and become the basis of all their beliefs and the trans- 
forming power of their lives, then no human testimony 
is of any value; then let us close our courts of justice, 
for no case is proven by so many trustworthy witnesses." 

The Cardinal also showed that the human mind, apart 
from the evidences of religion, was able to reason up to 
the immortality of the soul. 

Throughout his life, he retained vivid memories of his 
early labors in North Carolina, and he did not allow the 
associations which he had formed there to lapse. In 1910, 
he preached at the dedication of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral 
in Wilmington, a handsome house of worship which suc- 
ceeded the modest church in which he had sat as presid- 
ing Bishop of the diocese more than forty years before. 
Bishop Haid in an address to him at the services said that 
"your presence here to-day is but another proof of your 
undying love for the people and for the scenes of your 
earliest episcopal labors." 

In the same year the North Carolina Society of Bal- 
timore presented to him a memorial volume filled with 


manuscripts, photographs, and prints associated with 
his work in that State. In accepting it, he told the dele- 
gation of the society which called at his residence that 
the people of North Carolina had welcomed him in 1868 
with open arms, regardless of faith, and he expressed 
deep gratitude to them. He added: 

"With the interest of a young lady reading her first 
novel, I will read this novel of my younger days. After I 
have read it, it will be placed among the most treasured 
archives of the Cathedral of Baltimore." 

He sustained a heavy personal loss in the death on 
February 11, 191 1, of Archbishop Ryan, of Philadelphia, 
a companion and prop to him in the most fruitful years 
of his career. Sharing the fate of men who live excep- 
tionally long, he saw one after another of those who had 
been bound closest to him disappear from earth. A few 
days before Ryan's death, the Cardinal went to Philadel- 
phia to visit him. Entering the sick room, he placed his 
hand upon the Archbishop's brow and said softly : 

"Your Grace does not know me." 

The Archbishop, who had been hovering on the verge 
of unconsciousness, answered in a sudden rally of his 
faculties : 

"I know every tone of your Eminence's voice and now, 
as ever, I am convinced that you are the instrument of 
Providence for every good thing for our Church and 

The sick prelate, seemingly endowed with new 
strength, talked for some minutes with the Cardinal. 
They spoke of men and things long gone, of mutual hopes 


that had blossomed or withered. Naturally their thoughts 
turned to the future of the nation, which they had served 
so faithfully. 

"If we keep America conservative," said the Arch- 
bishop, "no country will be as great as this." 

Tears were in the eyes of Gibbons as he departed from 
the house of the dying. Another sympathizer, a Prot- 
estant, who visited the Archbishop shortly before the end 
came, said that it seemed like entering a room filled 
with angels. 

One of the views which Gibbons held tenaciously was 
that the American laity should take an active and en- 
lightened part in the Church's multiform work for the 
welfare of humanity. It was his view that the laity in 
the United States possessed a special capacity for coop- 
eration with the Bishops owing to their independent char- 
acter and their spirit of initiative. In an address at the 
opening of a convention of the American Federation of 
Catholic Societies in Milwaukee, August lo, 1913, he 

"An enlightened and zealous laity is the glory of the 
Christian Church. The most luminous periods of the 
Church's history have been epochs conspicuous for lay- 
men who have vindicated the cause of Christianity by 
their eloquence and their writings, as well as by the sanc- 
tity of their lives. 

"Among the notable defenders of the Catholic religion 
in the nineteenth century I mention Chateaubriand, 
Montalembert, the Count de Maistre and Frederick 
Ozanam, in France ; Gorres, Windhorst, Mallinckrodt, in 
Germany; Donoso Cortes, in Spain; Sir Kenelm Digby, 
W. G. Ward and Frederick Lucas, in England; the 


peerless O'Connell, in Ireland; Brownson and many other 
lights in the United States. 

"Let us indulge the hope — and this hope I cherish in 
my breast when I contemplate the scene before me today 
— that God will raise up in our own country and in oui* 
own day a formidable number of champions of Christ, 
who will be 'a light to the revelation of the Gentiles and 
the glory of the people of Israel.' 

"If I may single out one society without prejudice to 
the merits of the others, I will name in a particular man- 
ner that splendid organization, the Knights of Columbus. 
They are our joy and crown. 'They are the glory of Je- 
rusalem. They are the joy of Israel; they are the honor 
of our people.' Wherever calumny raises its foul head, 
they are ever ready, like true knights, to smite the enemy. 
Whenever an appeal is made in the cause of religion or 
charity, they are always foremost in lending a helping 

"Brethren of the laity, we of the clergy need your help. 
We learn from the history of the primitive Church what 
valuable aid the early Christians rendered to the Apostles 
in the propagation of the Gospel. And if the Apostles 
with all their piety, zeal and grace, fresh from the in- 
spiring presence of their Master, could not have accom- 
plished what they did without the assistance of the laity, 
how can we, who have not the measure of their gifts, hope 
to spread the light of truth without your hearty concur- 

Gibbons maintained close ties with St. Charles' Col- 
lege, where he had pursued his early studies in prepara- 
tion for the priesthood. He was greatly grieved when 
the college was destroyed by fire March 17, 1911, and, 
as usual, expressed his sentiments in acts, contributing 
$10,000 to aid in rebuilding the institution. 


His last meeting with Pius X was in the course of 
a visit to Rome in the Spring of 1914, when he took 
part in a consistory, Thomas Nelson Page, the American 
ambassador in that city, gave a luncheon in his honor. 
On May 26 Gibbons entertained sixty guests at dinner, 
including ten Cardinals, among whom were Farley and 

On the way home he stopped in Switzerland, where he 
was the guest of Francis de Sales Jenkins at Territet, near 
Montreux, on the shore of Lake Geneva, where he was 
invigorated by motor trips and by walks in the surround- 
ing forests. Queen Elizabeth, of Belgium, who was in 
that vicinity, having expressed her desire to meet him, was 
invited to breakfast at the residence at which he was a 
guest, where Gibbons received her both with graciousness 
and with the honor befitting her rank. Soon afterward 
he proceeded to Brussels, where he accepted an invitation 
to visit King Albert at the palace. He was much im- 
pressed by the King's wide knowledge of American af- 
fairs, which was abundantly in evidence later. 

In London he was the guest of Cardinal Bourne, and 
received the deference due him as the foremost prelate 
of the English-speaking world. A writer in the London 
Universe hailed him as first among Americans, saying: 

"Two great Americans were this week simultaneously 
in London. On Tuesday, I was privileged to chat for sev- 
eral minutes with the greater. The other is Mr. Roosevelt. 
. . . Cardinal Gibbons is a greater national institution 
of America than the greatest of its politicians. . . . 
Whatever has been achieved in the building up of Ameri- 
can greatness has been due in no small measure to the 


leavening power in the States of Cardinal Gibbons' per- 

Gibbons returned to Baltimore July 13, unconscious of 
the convulsion which was soon to shake some of the coun- 
tries of Europe which he had just visited. 

He passed the golden jubilee of his episcopate in 1918 
and was besought to consent to a great celebration of that 
event, but all plans for its observance on a large scale in 
Baltimore in the autumn were dropped because of a gen- 
eral abandonment of public gatherings on account of the 
influenza epidemic, which cost hundreds of thousands of 
lives throughout the civilized world in that year. Bene- 
dict XV honored him with the following letter : ® 

''To Our Beloved Son^ 

''James Cardinal Gibbons, 
"Archbishop of Baltimore, 
"Beloved Son, Health and Apostolic Benediction : 

"We have lately received the good news that during 
the coming October, on the happy occasion of the golden 
jubilee of your episcopate, your fellow-citizens purpose to 
honor you with signal marks of their affection and joy. 
Indeed, in so illustrious a manner have you won the high 
esteem of men in the sight of all your fellow-Americans 
that it can hardly be a matter of surprise that not only 
your clergy and people, bound to you by ties of affection, 
but also men of every order, should join in paying you 
honor. May you enjoy the fruits of your piety and re- 
ligious observance, bearing in mind that an abundant 
measure of reward is to be expected from Him who 
'rendereth unto every man according to his works.' 

"As for ourselves, we join our grateful thanks with 
yours to the God who has sustained you, and, moreover, 

* Cathedral Archives, Baltimore. 


we wish your joy to be augmented by our own congratu- 
lations, for, indeed, it is pleasing to us to fold in our 
fatherly embrace those who, like yourself, have labored 
long in the office of the Good Shepherd. We are sending 
to you a souvenir of the happy day, which, at the same 
time, is a testimony of our affection for you. 

"Moreover, beseeching God to regard favorably your 
supplications, we empower you, in our name, on the day 
of your jubilee, at the solemn sacrifice, to bless those pres- 
ent, announcing a plenary indulgence to be gained by fol- 
lowing the usual conditions. And as a pledge of heavenly 
rewards and as a proof of our own affection for you, be- 
loved son, we lovingly in the Lord impart to you and 
yours the Apostolic benediction. 

"Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on this fourth day of 
September, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine 
hundred and eighteen and the fifth of our pontificate. 

"Benedict PP. XV." 

A delegation headed by the Rt. Rev. Frederick E. 
Keating, Bishop of Northampton, was sent by the Hier- 
archy of England, with the good will of the British gov- 
ernment, to express the congratulations of English Cath- 
olics. A French delegation headed by the Rt. Rev. 
Eugene Julien, Bishop of Arras, also came to present 
felicitations. The Church in Belgium sent Mgr. Carton 
de Wiart, canon of the diocese of Namur, on a similar 

On February 20 of the following year there was an 
imposing celebration of the jubilee at the Catholic Uni- 
versity, attended by more than eighty prelates, including 
Cardinals O'Connell, of Boston, and Begin, of Quebec. 
On that occasion a purse of $50,000, the gift of his fel- 
low-Archbishops and Bishops, was presented to Gibbons. 


Archbishop Cerretti, then assistant Papal Secretary of 
State, for whom, when he had been attached to the Papal 
legation in Washington, Gibbons had cherished warm 
regard, was present as a representative of the Pope. 

Gibbons, in his address, spoke from the viewpoint of 
his long perspective in the Church, saying : 

"At the close of the Third Plenary Council, over which 
I had the honor to preside, I addressed the assembled prel- 
ates and referred to the words which St. Paul wrote 
to Timothy, because they did not despise my youth. If 
your predecessors in the episcopate were so forbearing to 
me in my youthful experiences, you have always been 
kind and considerate to me in my declining years. 

"I am today the sole survivor of the nearly one thou- 
sand Bishops who attended the Vatican Council. What 
is still more noteworthy, I am actually the only survivor 
of the eighty prelates who attended the Third Plenary 
Council of 1884. The last to descend below the horizon 
of the tomb was the venerable patriarch of the west, the 
great apostle of temperance, the patriot whom his fellow- 
citizens loved to honor, without distinction of race or 
religion, the lion of the fold of Judah. I refer to John 
Ireland, Archbishop of St. PauL" 

On March 3 following, sixteen Cardinals took part in 
the celebration of Gibbons' jubilee in his titular Church 
of Santa Maria in Trestevere, Rome, when Cardinal 
Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State, celebrated Pontifical 
High Mass. 


Cardinal Gibbons' code of civic duty, like most of his 
other fundamental conceptions, was the essence of sim- 
plicity. First, he thought it not unworthy to cherish 
among the most important privileges with which he was 
endowed the rights of American citizenship; second, he 
held that cherishing the value of those rights implied the 
direct duty of making full use of them ; third, he seemed 
to be incapable of thinking in terms of class. His con- 
cern was always for the greatest good to the greatest 
number, which he regarded as the basis upon which the 
citizen should cast his vote, without heading the call of 
selfish interest. He was never known to ask, in public 
or private, for any favor to the Catholic Church, but he 
was ready to claim for her at all times the same full pro- 
tection of American laws which he freely conceded to 
other religious organizations. There was nothing in the 
general basis of this program which any citizen might not 

His participation in public affairs was a by-product, 

just as it must be in the case of the great majority in every 

democracy. It would have been easy for him to escape all 

unofficial civic responsibility — the only kind which it 

was possible for him to exercise — without any adverse 

comment upon his abstention. He might have shared in 



the aloofness of some moralists who seek to avoid "soil- 
ing their hands" with such things. He could have fallen 
in with the custom of many churchmen of all creeds who 
ignore the civic relation to a great extent, because in their 
view it is not a part of their spiritual mission, and be- 
cause they fear that their motives may be misunderstood. 
His engrossing preoccupation with other affairs would 
have been as ready a reason for non-participation in the 
duties of the citizen by himself as in the cases of mer- 
chants, lawyers and others who profess to have no time 
for engaging in what they call politics. 

It was not in the nature of Gibbons, however, to be in 
the world and not of it, in the sense of striving for the 
betterment of the world. The institutions of his country 
seemed to him not to be merely a material structure pro- 
viding for material needs. In his view they were a mani- 
festation of the workings of Divine Providence for the 
welfare of men. He considered America to be a provi- 
dential nation, raised to diffuse liberty not only for itself, 
but as an example to the world. He could not spare any 
effort which he felt might help to keep it true to that 

He considered that one of his chief duties every year 
was to cast his vote, and only sheer physical inability 
could prevent him from doing so. He never failed to 
register on the poll books. 

Yet, simple as this creed was, so sublimely did he carry 
it out that Americans came to regard him as their fore- 
most citizen outside the circle of high official life and 
heeded his voice as perhaps the voice of no one since 
Washington. The quality of his citizenship became a 


national model. It was unquestioned that he was not 
swayed by partisanship, and that expediency could not 
affect his course in public affairs. In times when popular 
opinion was distracted by the selfish clashes of political 
leaders his calm counsel was eagerly looked for. Whether 
he happened to be on the winning side of a question (as 
in regard to his warnings against Socialism and Bolshe- 
vism) or on the losing side (as when he opposed the 
woman suffrage and prohibition amendments) seemed to 
be of less concern to the mass of his fellow-citizens, than 
the evident fact that he had the courage to express his 
views fearlessly and without rancor whenever it seemed 
to him to be necessary to do so. The sanity of his politi- 
cal thinking seemed to be unfailing. He was the spokes- 
man of the voiceless multitude. 
On one occasion he said : 

"Nobody knows my politics. I have more regard for 
principles than for men, but, of course, when I vote I 
must vote for some man. I never told any man for whom 
I would vote in any election. I hold myself independent 
and free to vote each time as it seems best, according to 
my knowledge and conscience." ^ 

In a letter to his long-time friend, Ex-Senator Henry 
G. Davis, of West Virginia,^ soon after the latter's nom- 
ination as the Democratic party's candidate for Vice- 
President, he wrote: 

* Interview in the New York IVorld, August 6, 1912. 

* Cardinal Gibbons had met Mr. Davis often at Deer Park, Md., a re- 
sort in the Allegheny Mountains, where he used to go for periods of 
rest before his elevation to the Cardinalate and at intervals for a few 
years afterward. On one ocasion he dined with Mr. Davis when Presi- 
dent Harrison was a guest at the same table. (Pepper, The Life and 
Times of Henry Gassaway Davis.) 


"Baltimore, August 31, 1904. 
"Honorable Henry G. Davis. 
"My DEAR Senator: 

". . . My first impulse, on reading of your nomination 
to the Vice-Presidency, was to congratulate you on the 
honor conferred on you by your fellow-citizens. But I 
hesitated to write, fearing that my letter might be con- 
strued as espousing publicly a political party. 

"The delicate position in which I feel I am placed has 
always debarred me from giving public expression to my 
political views. 

"Whatever may be the outcome of the campaign, your 
friends, among whom I claim to be one, will rejoice in 
the well-merited distinction conferred on you. . . . 
"Faithfully yours in Christ, 

"J. Cardinal Gibbons." 

Naturally many persons sought to obtain his public 
support of the candidacies of individuals, or to learn, 
from motives of curiosity, whom he would favor. One 
of these persons asked him, when the Presidential cam- 
paign of 1912 was in the period of its greatest intensity: 

"Have you a favorite candidate*?" 

"I have," replied Gibbons. 

"And may I ask who it is?" 

"You may," the Cardinal answered. 

A glance of keen expectancy was directed at him, and 
the visitor was about to ask the name of the candidate 
on whose side he was when the twinkle in his blue eyes 
became more evident. He checked the discussion at that 
point by adding: 

"You may ask me, but not on any account will I tell 
you. I did not say that I would tell you, if you will re- 
member; I said only that you might ask." 


In that year he was invited to offer the invocation at 
the opening of the Democratic National Convention in 
Baltimore which nominated Woodrow Wilson for Presi- 
dent. His prayer upon that occasion was: 

"We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom and justice, 
through Whom authority is rightly administered, laws 
are enacted and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy 
Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these 
United States, that his administration may be conducted 
in righteousness and be eminently useful to Thy people 
over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for 
virtue and religion, by a faithful execution of the laws 
of justice and mercy and by restraining vice and immo- 

"Let the light of Thy Divine Wisdom direct the delib- 
erations of this convention and shine forth in all its pro- 
ceedings and enactments so that they may tend to the 
preservation of peace and good will and the promotion 
of concord and harmony. 

"May authority be exercised without despotism, and 
liberty prevail without license. May this convention 
demonstrate once more to the American people and to 
the world at large that the citizens of the United States 
have solved the problem of self-government by exercising 
and tolerating the broadest and most untrammeled free- 
dom of discussion in their political assemblies, without 
dethroning reason and without invading the sacred and 
inviolable domain of law and of public order. 

"May the delegates assembled to select a candidate for 
Chief Magistrate be ever mindful that they are the sons 
of the same Heavenly Father, that they are brothers of 
the same national family, that they are fellow-citizens of 
the same glorious republic, that they are joint heirs of the 
same heritage of freedom, and may it be their highest 


ambition to transmit this precious inheritance unimpaired 
to their children and their children's children. 

"May the consciousness of this community of interests 
and of destiny banish from their hearts all bitterness, 
hatred and ill will, and inspire them with sentiments of 
genuine charity, benevolence and mutual respect and 

"We commend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all 
our brethren and fellow-citizens throughout the United 
States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and 
sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that 
they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which 
the world cannot give, and after enjoying the blessings 
of this life that they may be admitted to those which are 

At the session of the convention at which this prayer 
was delivered, Gibbons sat directly in front of William 
J. Bryan, who leaned over in his seat and introduced him- 
self to the Cardinal. They afterward became well ac- 
quainted. Bryan made the principal speech at that ses- 
sion, and his oratorical delivery was a subject of especial 
interest to Gibbons. 

When it was announced that the Cardinal would offer 
the prayer on that occasion, a letter, supposed to have 
been written by an unbalanced man, was sent to him, 
intimating that he might be shot if he persisted in his 
decision to offer the prayer. Needless to say, he was 
unmoved by it. 

In a sermon at the Baltimore Cathedral on November 
4 of the same year, two days before the election, he reaf- 
firmed his belief in the stability of the Republic and the 
adequacy of the Constitution. He pointed out that it 


was customary for gloomy persons to indulge in forecasts 
of evil before elections, which were not borne out by sub- 
sequent developments. In the American system of sep- 
aration of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, 
he saw a marked influence on the side of safety. His 
main concern was regarding a possible lack of interest on 
the part of voters. He said : 

"It is my profound conviction that if ever the republic 
is doomed to decay, if the future historian shall ever 
record the decline and fall of the American republic, its 
downfall will be due, not to a hostile invasion, but to 
the indifference, lethargy and political apostasy of her 
own sons. 

"And if all citizens are bound to take an interest in 
public affairs, that duty especially devolves on those who 
are endowed with superior intelligence and education, and 
who ought to be the leaders and exemplars of the people, 
guiding them in the path of political rectitude. 

"There are three conspicuous citizens who are now 
candidates for the Presidency. Whatever may be my 
private and personal preference and predilection, it is not 
for me in this sacred pulpit or anywhere else publicly to 
dictate or even suggest to you the candidate of my choice. 

"May God so enlighten the minds and quicken the con- 
science, of the American people to a sense of their civic 
duties as to arouse in them an earnest and practical inter- 
est in the coming election, and may He so guide their 
hearts that they will select a Chief Magistrate whose ad- 
ministration will redound to the material prosperity and 
moral welfare of our beloved republic." 

He also offered the opening prayer at the beginning of 
the third day's session of the Republican National Con- 
vention at Chicago in 1920, which nominated Harding 


for President. The first part of the prayer upon that 
occasion was almost the same as the opening paragraph 
of the one delivered at Baltimore eight years before. It 
continued : 

"May Thy people always realize the truth of the in- 
spired maxim that 'Righteousness exalteth a nation but 
sin maketh a people miserable.' May they realize and 
take to heart that if our nation is to be perpetuated in the 
exercise of authority with liberty, our Government must 
rest, not on formidable standing armies, not on dread- 
naughts, for the 'race is not to the swift nor the battle to 
the strong.' 

"Grant, O Lord, that the administration of the new 
Chief Magistrate may redound to the spiritual and mate- 
rial welfare of the Commonwealth, to the suppression of 
sedition and anarchy; and to the strength and perpetuity 
of our civil and political institutions. 

"I have been, O Lord, in my day, a personal and living 
witness of the many tremendous upheavals which threat- 
ened to rend the nation asunder, from the inauguration 
of thy servant, Abraham Lincoln, even unto this day. 
But Thou hast saved us in the past by Thy almighty 
power and I have abiding confidence that Thou wilt deal 
graciously with us in every future emergency. 

"Grant that the proceedings of the convention may be 
marked by a wisdom, discretion, concord, harmony and 
mutual forbearance worthy of an enlightened and patri- 
otic body of American citizens." 

One of the public questions on which Gibbons took a 
pronounced stand in his later years was the retention of 
American sovereignty over the Philippines. In 1913, 
soon after Mr. Wilson's first term as President began, a 
bill which provided for Philippine independence was 


strongly backed in Congress, and, for a time, seemed 
likely to pass. Gibbons had taken no public part in the 
discussion in 1898 as to whether the Philippines should 
be transferred from Spanish to American sovereignty, al- 
though, as we have seen, when President McKinley 
asked for his advice on that subject, he said that the 
transfer would be a good thing for the Catholic Church, 
but a bad one, he feared, for the United States. We 
have also seen how it was chiefly due to Gibbons that the 
vexing question of the Friar lands was settled and the 
status of the Catholic Church property in the Philippines 
and other islands acquired by the United States from 
Spain arranged to accord with American methods. 

Once the islands were taken over, he was firmly of the 
opinion that they should be held until their people were 
fitted for self-government, and he was disposed to require 
distinct evidence to be given of such fitness before 
American supervision was withdrawn. In his view, 
American withdrawal would mean abandoning a helpless 
people to a capricious and ominous future. 

On November 3, 1912, Gibbons was the guest of Presi- 
dent Taft, at luncheon, when they discussed the question 
of the Philippines. Mr. Taft pointed out to him that 
while all the Democratic platforms since that of 1900 
had declared for the independence of the islands, Mr. 
Wilson had not mentioned that subject in his speech ac- 
cepting nomination. The President, who had been the 
first civil governor of the islands, and in whose judgment 
regarding them Gibbons reposed profound confidence, 
said that the Philippines were far from ready for inde- 
pendence, and that, if it were given to them, an oligarchy 


of natives would control. He also expressed the view 
that in certain eventualities a foreign power might seize 
the islands. 

Gibbons told the President that the Catholic Bishops 
in the Philippines were unanimously of the opinion that 
the people were not ready for independence. He con- 
curred in this view, believing that a considerable period 
of further progress under the American flag was necessary 
before the question of full independence could be seri- 
ously considered. 

After the bill had been introduced, Gibbons became 
the foremost influence in opposition to it. He took the 
ground that while a small proportion of the people of the 
islands were educated and fitted for the duties of citizen- 
ship at that time, the great majority were still in a rudi- 
mentary state of civilization, and many were almost bar- 
barous. Early independence, he held, would lead to re- 
peated revolutions and the springing up of ambitious and 
unscrupulous leaders, and eventually to anarchy. The 
result in that event, he was inclined to believe, would be 
that Japan would take possession of the islands. 

Speaking to members of the Taft Cabinet, other offi- 
cials of the Washington government and representatives 
of every nation of Central and South America, assembled 
at an official luncheon in Washington, November 29, 
1912, Gibbons declared that in the Philippines the 
United States had a responsibility which it could not 
escape. He remarked: 

"Happy for the United States, and thrice happy for 
the Philippines if the administration of affairs in the 


islands in the future shall be in hands as capable as those 
of President Taft." 

The editor of a Boston newspaper ^ having solicited 
from him a full expression of his views on the subject 
of the Philippines, he consented to give the interview, 
which was subsequently republished as a Congressional 
document on motion of Representative Kendall of Iowa, 
who, in proposing its publication, said : * 

"Mr. Speaker, Cardinal Gibbons is not only a very 
distinguished prelate, but he is a very eminent statesman 
as well. He has had occasion to devote very deep and 
discriminating study to the subject of our relations to the 
Philippines, a proposition which will be one of difficulty 
and importance in Congress. Some time ago he submitted 
to an interview which is a contribution of peculiar value, 
in my opinion, to the American people. I ask unanimous 
consent to extend my remarks by including it in the 

In that statement Gibbons urged that the Philippine 
problem was in no sense a partisan one, but belonged to 
the whole American people. He said: 

"To its solution the best thought of the country should 
be devoted, and the efforts of our Government in that 
direction deserve the loyal support of all Americans with- 
out regard to creed, religious or political. The orderly 
progress and development of the Filipinos and their edu- 
cation in the difficult science of self-government under 
the wise and benevolent policy pursued by this nation 
since the American occupation is threatened by the pro- 
posal to commit the Government to abandon those islands 

* The Transcript. 

* Congressional Record. 


at a fixed time in the future — and that only a few years 

"I am irrevocably opposed to any proposal that would 
commit this nation to a scuttle policy in the Philippine 
Islands — to-day, to-morrow, or at any fixed time in the 
future — and I say this wholly in the interest of the social, 
material, and moral advancement of the people of the 
United States, of whom I am proud to be a fellow citizen, 
no less than of the Filipinos themselves. 

"In the first place, I maintain that the Filipinos — the 
vast majority of them, at any rate — have never been con- 
sulted regarding their independence. The islands com- 
posing the archipelago number more than 3,000 and are 
widely scattered. The people of one island have little or 
no relation with the inhabitants of another. No attempt 
has been made to ascertain the views of these segregated 
groups upon the question, so vital to them, as to whether 
they shall be turned adrift to shift for themselves. There 
has been no plebiscite, and it would require days and 
weeks for them to gather and register their opinions on 
the subject. 

"But even could it be demonstrated that a large num- 
ber of Filipinos desired independence, in my judgment 
the inhabitants of those islands, as a whole, are utterly 
unprepared to shoulder the responsibility which inde- 
pendence would place upon them. Some authorities give 
the number of those capable of reading and writing as 
not more than 5 per cent, nor have more than 3 per cent 
an adequate idea of the duties required of those charged 
with self-government. 

"Objection is raised against our continuing to rule a 
people 8,000 miles away. In answer I would say that 
when we acquired California in 1847 President Polk is 
said to have remarked that a territory so far removed 
from what was then the United States would be a doubt- 
ful possession. We know now how fallacious was his 


reasoning. Although the Philippine Islands are so far 
removed from us geographically, it is easier for us to-day 
to reach Manila than it was sixty years ago to go from 
New York to San Francisco, and, in fact, it might be said 
that we are in hourly communication with the islands by 

"On many sides of us to-day we see republics torn with 
chronic revolutions — Liberia, Santo Domingo, Cuba, and 
last, but by no means least, Mexico. For those revolu- 
tions this nation is not responsible. I hold that it would 
be a grave mistake to add another to that group, and one 
for which as a nation the United States would be wholly 

Gibbons was greatly relieved when he learned soon 
afterward at a dinner party in Washington that a suffi- 
cient number of senators was opposed to the bill for Phil- 
ippine independence to prevent its passage. He con- 
tinued to receive encouraging reports from Catholic prel- 
ates in the islands of the progress being made under 
American control. In the year following the defeat of 
the bill he was visited by Archbishop Harty, of Manila, 
who cheered him by saying that 400,000 children were 
then enrolled in the new insular schools. 

The period of prolonged revolutions in Mexico, which 
followed the end of the Diaz regime, was a source of 
great distress to him because of the persecution of priests 
and nuns that accompanied it. So deeply was he moved 
that he issued two letters, one addressed to the priests, 
and the other to the laity of the archdiocese of Baltimore, 
asking them to pray daily during the entire month of 
May, 1914, for peace in that country. He went to New 
Orleans for a conference with Archbishop Mora y del 


Rio, the head of the Catholic Church in Mexico, and they 
considered steps for the care of the priests and nuns who 
were fleeing to the United States to escape the worst bru- 
talities, and even death, at the hands of various Mexican 
factions. In the following year he issued an appeal to 
the American Bishops in behalf of the refugees, saying: 

"The Archbishop of Mexico has made known to me 
the great misery in which multitudes of Sisters and of 
mothers and children now find themselves on account of 
the revolution. Their condition is most pitiable, and no 
promise of immediate relief is found in Mexico itself. 
He implores us to come to their assistance. I communi- 
cated hurriedly with their Eminences, Cardinals Farley 
and O'Connell, who agree with me that an appeal should 
be made to the members of the Hierarchy on behalf of 
these sufferers. 

"Were the condition less distressing and the act less 
exalted, I would not venture to take the step without first 
asking your advice as to the wisdom of it. There is, how- 
ever, urgent need of immediate action. I ask you, there- 
fore, in your charity and kindness of heart to take fitting 
steps toward raising funds for this purpose. I may say 
that a number of representatives of American public opin- 
ion, both in official and private life, who are well ac- 
quainted with conditions in Mexico, are most anxious that 
this be done." 

He was in frequent correspondence with President 
Wilson and the State Department regarding the situa- 
tion. While opposed to armed intervention, he felt that 
the influence of America should be continuously exerted 
to allay the atrocities in Mexico which accompanied the 
revolution. He pronounced Carranza and Villa "a dis- 
grace to their country." 


On November 19, 1914, he sent a letter to Archbishop 
Mora, in the name of the entire Hierarchy of the United 
States, deploring the hostility to the Catholic Church by 
the revolutionists and the persecution of priests and nuns, 
saying : 

"In the United States, constitutional provisions safe- 
guard both the stability of government and the liberties 
of the individual, not by hampering religion, but by al- 
lowing it the fullest freedom, or rather by protecting it in 
the enjoyment of that freedom which it has by right. 

"The American people . . . will not, I am sure, de- 
liberately assent to the establishment on their borders of 
a system of misrule, based on the worst of tyrannies — 
the tyranny of the State over soul and conscience." 

A little more than a month after this appeal was sent 
out, he received a letter from the Archbishop of Oaxaca 
saying that Carranza had forbidden confessions and col- 
lections in the churches. 

He continued to hope steadily that the right man or 
men would come to the front in Mexico and restore the 
country to the peace and prosperity which it formerly 
enjoyed. It was one of the solaces of the closing days 
of his life that conditions in that country had become 
greatly improved. 

Continuing his efforts in behalf of international peace. 
Gibbons gave support to every arbitration treaty which 
was negotiated by the Washington government. In an 
address at the Third National Peace Congress held in 
Baltimore in May, 1911, he made an earnest plea for a 
treaty of that kind between the United States and Great 
Britain as a forerunner of similar conventions binding all 


nations. The president of the Congress, in introducing 
him, characterized him as one of the most potent forces 
in the world for the abolition of war, and recalled the 
appeal issued by Cardinals Gibbons, Logue and Vaughan 
at Easter, 1896, as one of the chief contributory causes 
of the Hague Conference of 1899. 

Gibbons lent the full weight of his influence to the 
overthrow of the Louisiana lottery, a gigantic scheme of 
licensed gambling which had long been an offense to the 
nation. Its power, derived from the laws of the State in 
which it was conducted, was fortified by organized cor- 
ruption and for a time seemed impregnable. Able and 
devoted men undertook to crush it, but for years their 
efforts were futile. It appeased hostile opinion by giving 
large donations to charities, and obtained the services of 
Generals Beauregard and Early to supervise its drawings. 

By a letter addressed January 11, 1892, to General 
George D. Johnston, of the Anti-Lottery Committee 
which was opposing a renewal of the charter by the State 
of Louisiana, Gibbons helped to turn the tide. He took 
the ground that the question of permitting the lottery to 
continue was preeminently one of morality and virtue. 
The practical working of the lottery, he showed, tended 
to enrich the few at the expense and misery of the many; 
to tempt the poor to squander their earnings "in the vain, 
delusive Tantalus-like hope of one day becoming the pos- 
sessor of a winning number." This fever impelled many 
to thefts and other forms of dishonesty. He pronounced 
the lottery to be an enemy to the honor and peace of any 
community, to the happiness of the home, to individual 
thrift and enterprise, and vigorously called upon every 


public-spirited and earnest Christian to aid in its sup- 
pression. The Cardinal wrote: 

"Christian charity and natural philanthropy alike dic- 
tate that we remove from the unwary pitfalls of destruc- 
tion and withdraw the innocent and weak from tempta- 
tion. Those bent on suicide should be restrained. The 
burning fagot should be snatched from the child's hand. 
That the Louisiana lottery, as it is presented to us, proves 
a snare and a delusion to thousands, and is destructive 
to the peace of mind and energy of action so necessary to 
pursue honorable careers and properly to acquit one's 
self of life's duties, we can not doubt. The daily opera- 
tions of the scheme make the point clear. Worthy, then, 
of praise and commendation are they who strive to 
quicken the public conscience and to array public senti- 
ment against the continuance of the evil, who speak and 
labor in behalf of their fellow-men by seeking to remove 
from their midst a dire enemy of their manhood, their 
homes and their prosperity. 

"Were the evil confined only to the State of Louisiana, 
I should refrain from giving expression to my sentiments; 
but since, like a giant tree, it has extended its branches 
over the entire land, embracing in the area of its opera- 
tions Maryland and the District of Columbia, with which 
I am connected, I could not but raise my voice in pro- 
test, and in particular that our faithful people may help 
forward the good work of putting an end to its ravages." 

The words of Gibbons were influential not only in the 
country at large, but directly in Louisiana, the home of 
his youth and where his family resided. He was vener- 
ated there as much as in Baltimore; and an aroused pub- 
lic opinion was sufficient to crush the lottery out of ex- 


Throughout the nation there was a chorus of satisfac- 
tion that a contest so long and unceasingly waged had 
become victorious. The Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott, preach- 
ing in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, in the following 
month, expressed the view of Protestant crusaders who, 
like himself, had long been grappling with the monster. 
He exclaimed: 

"I can not understand the folly of men who would blot 
out the Roman Catholic Church from this country. Thank 
God for Cardinal Gibbons I Long may he wear his red 
cloak and his red cap ; and if there should be an election 
now, and you and I could vote, I would vote to make him 
Pope I His word, flung out with courage and with strong 
significance, has done more than any other word in this 
country, by press, by politician, or by preacher, to make 
the leaders of that Louisiana abomination call a halt, and, 
at least, pretend a retreat. God give us courage to turn 
it into a rout." 

When the lottery took refuge in Honduras and illicitly 
carried on its operations in the United States, though in 
a much modified form, the Cardinal wrote another letter 
severely condemning it and expressing the hope that pub- 
lic opinion would stamp it out everywhere. 


The quality of Gibbons' moral courage was perhaps 
shown by nothing more strikingly than by his attitude on 
temperance and prohibition as to the use of liquor. Any 
consideration of his record on that question must begin 
with the fact that he was one of the most powerful in- 
dividual forces for temperance. Over a very long period 
of years he made it a practise whenever he confirmed a 
class to request the boys to pledge abstinence from intoxi- 
cating liquors until they reached the age of twenty-one 
years. The aggregate of those who gave these pledges 
was many thousands. It was Gibbons' belief, based upon 
observation, that habits of intemperance were usually 
contracted in youth, when there were exceptional tempta- 
tions, and that if this period could be passed safely there 
was less danger of drinking to excess. 

Total prohibition of the sale of liquor by law in the 
nation or a State he regarded as impracticable and dan- 
gerous, but he was in favor of local option on the ques- 
tion. He declared publicly "that it is impossible to leg- 
islate men into morality." When the question of ratify- 
ing the prohibition amendment to the national Constitu- 
tion hung in the balance, he expressed the hope that the 
members of State legislatures who were still to vote upon 

the question would not bow to "the fanaticism that seems 



to be governing us in this respect." Some of the law- 
makers seemed to him to be acting through cowardice, 
dreading the pressure exercised by propagandists for pro- 
hibition. Ratification of the amendment, he predicted, 
would be followed by the springing up of illicit stills in 
all parts of the country, and dangerous beverages made 
surreptitiously would be used in the place of beer and 
light wines. He added: 

"Those favoring the amendment will not be satisfied 
with this victory, and they will try to impose other ob- 
noxious laws upon us that will make our personal liberty 
worth very little." 

He expressed repeatedly the conviction that prohibi- 
tion could never be enforced, and that if enforcement 
should be attempted, it would make hypocrites and vio- 
lators of the laws. 

Declaring his opposition in 1916 to a State prohibition 
bill, then under consideration by the legislature of Mary- 
land, he said to a delegation which called upon him : 

"I believe that such a law is impossible of enforcement 
in a city of the size of Baltimore. A law of this kind 
interferes with personal liberty and rights, and creates 
hypocrisy in the people. The history of the world down 
to the present time demonstrates the fact that people 
always have indulged and always will indulge in the use 
of intoxicating liquors. 

"It is true that the use of wines and liquors is often 
abused, as I know from a long observation in the minis- 
try, yet the best of things are liable to abuse. What is 
more harmless, for instance, than the organ of the tongue'? 
We all know the social and domestic joy and utility de- 
rived from conversation, and yet the bad use of the tongue 


daily leads to lying and misrepresentation, to quarrels 
and slander, to bloodshed, and often even to murder. 

"It is a favorite practise of some friends of prohibition 
to charge their opponents with being subsidized by the 
liquor interests ; that is a most grievous charge, and often 
unfounded. But would we be justified in putting a pad- 
lock on our mouths because of the occasional misuse of 
the tongue? We should regulate the use of intoxicants 
as we regulate the use of our tongues, by proper safe- 
guards and restraints. 

"What I would recommend for Baltimore is high li- 
cense, and laws connected with it rigidly enforcing the 
regulations for the conduct of saloons." 

He lent his direct support to abolishing the saloons by 
means of local option in Charles County, Maryland, 
where the Catholic population was large. A statement 
which he issued while the question was being agitated 
there resulted in a large majority in the county against 
the continued sale of liquor. The statement was : 

"I believe that the right of the people to determine by 
the operation of a local option law whether saloons shall 
or shall not be closed within their respective communities 
is in harmony with the American principle of self gov- 
ernment and I congratulate the people of Charles county 
in that they will have the right to settle this question by 
ballot on May 16 next. Realizing the damage which has 
been done by the liquor traffic in this county, I sincerely 
trust that at the coming election they will banish forever 
the licensed saloon, as I believe that it will be to the best 
interests of their people." 

Gibbons supported steps which were taken for instruct- 
ing children in the schools regarding the effects of alcohol 
on bodily health and he encouraged the offering of prizes 


for essays on that subject written by pupils in Baltimore. 
He resisted all temptations — and they were great — 
to make uncharitable rejoinders to the attacks which were 
launched against him by some of the extreme advocates 
of prohibition. One of these attacks was in the form 
of an insinuation that he opposed the national prohibi- 
tion amendment because the Maryland distilleries were 
"controlled or owned by Catholics." This was far from 
the mark, for an inquiry which was instituted showed 
that only five of the twenty distilleries in the State were 
so controlled or owned. In a letter to a friend, in the 
course of which he mentioned the refutation of this 
charge, he wrote simply: 

"We must make ourselves heard touching our personal 
liberty." ^ 

On the question of woman suffrage, as in regard to 
prohibition, he held to his own position despite pro- 
longed and determined pressure to induce him to change 
it. He was opposed to general suffrage for women, but 
in favor of conferring municipal suffrage upon women 
who owned property. He based his stand upon the view 
that activity by women in politics would involve the risk 
of injury to their influence in the home. Speaking to 
members of the Catholic Women's Benevolent Legion ^ 
he said: 

"You are the queens of the domestic kingdom. Do not 
stain your garments with the soil of the political arena. 
No man or woman can rule well over two kingdoms, and 
one should be enough for you. You rule the home, the 

* Letter of January 29, 1919. 
*May 20, 1920. 


husband and the children, and should not attempt to 
dabble in politics. . . . Each of you has a special mis- 
sion from God, and each must perform it individually. 
. . . Women are greater than men, more than priests, 
more than Bishops, in the power to develop the highest 
ideals as mothers, daughters and sisters." 

He uniformly insisted that the Christian home was the 
cornerstone of the nation, and in numerous addresses ex- 
alted the Christian mother. In a sermon at the Baltimore 
Cathedral February 4, 1900, he said: 

"I regard 'woman's rights' women as the worst enemies 
of the female sex. They rob woman of all that is amiable 
and gentle, tender and attractive; they rob her of her 
innate grace of character, and give her nothing in return 
but masculine boldness and brazen effrontery. They are 
habitually preaching about woman's rights and preroga^ 
tives, and have not a word to say about her duties and 
responsibilities. They withdraw her from those obliga- 
tions which properly belong to her sex and fill her with 
ambition to usurp positions for which neither God nor 
nature ever intended her. 

"Under the influence of such teachers, we find woman, 
especially in higher circles, neglecting her household 
duties, never at peace unless she is in perpetual motion 
or unless she is in a state of morbid excitement. She 
never feels at home unless she is abroad. When she is at 
home, the home is irksome to her. She chafes and frets 
under the restraints and responsibilities of domestic life. 
Her heart is abroad; it is exulting in imagination in some 
social triumph or reveling in some scene of gayety and 

"Her afflicted husband comes home to find it empty 
or occupied by a woman whose heart is empty of affection 
for him. She is ill at ease. Hence arise disputes, quar- 


rels, recriminations, estrangements, or the last act of the 
drama is often divorce I I speak with sober truth when I 
affirm that for the wrecks of families in our country 
woman has a large share of the responsibility. 

"Where will woman find the charter of her rights and 
dignity? In the Gospel. The Catholic Church, follow- 
ing the teachings of the Gospel and the Epistles of St. 
Paul, proclaims woman as the peer of man. 

"Christian women, when your husbands and sons re- 
turn to you in the evening after buffeting with the waves 
of the world, let them find in your homes a haven of rest. 
Do not pour into the bleeding wounds of the heart the 
gall of bitter words, but rather the oil of gladness and 

Delegations of woman suifragists made numerous ef- 
forts to win him over to their side, but without avail. A 
number of them who engaged in a march from New 
York to Washington in February, 1913, as a means of 
attracting attention to their cause, contrived to obtain 
an audience with him by appearing at his residence in one 
of his daily periods for public reception and entering 
without formality. Gibbons received them as he received 
other callers, with winning cordiality, and they could 
pluck up courage to do nothing more spectacular in the 
course of their visit than to present an equal suffrage 
flag to him. 

He feared that if the mass of women participated 
actively in politics there would be an aggravation of what 
he considered to be one of the greatest evils in America — 
divorce. In sermons and public addresses he frequently 
warned of the increasing number of divorces, with the 
tendency to undermine family life. Writing in the 


Delineator^ a journal for women, in July, 1907, he ex- 
pressed himself thus: 

"The reckless facility with which divorce is procured in 
this country is an evil scarcely less deplorable than Mor- 
monism. Indeed, it is in some respects more dangerousj 
for divorce has the sanction of the civil law, which Mor- 
monism has not. Is not the law of divorce a virtual tol- 
eration of Mormonism in a modified form? Mormonism 
consists in a simultaneous polygamy, while the law of 
divorce practically leads to successive polygamy. . . . 
It is plainly manifest that the cancer of divorce is rapidly 
spreading over the community and poisoning the foun- 
tains of the nation. Unless the evil is checked by some 
speedy and heroic remedy, the existence of family life is 

In a letter addressed to the "Congress of Mothers" in 
Washington, May 1, 1911, the Cardinal expressed his 
general views of the duties of women in the world. He 
wrote : 

"The home is the primeval school. It is the best, the 
most hallowed and the most potential of all academies, 
and the parent, especially the mother, is the first, the 
most influential and the most cherished of all teachers. 

"For various reasons mothers should be the first instruc- 
tors of their children. 

''First — As nature ordains that mothers should be th€ 
first to feed their offspring with corporal nourishment of 
their own substance, so the God of nature ordains that 
mothers should be the first to impart to their little ones 
'the rational, guileless milk of heavenly knowledge, 
whereby they may grow into salvation' (i Peter 11. i). 

''Second — The children that are fed by their own 
mothers are usually more healthy and robust than those 


that are nourished by wet nurses. In like manner, the 
children that are instructed by their own mothers in the 
elements of Christian knowledge are commonly more 
sturdy in faith and are more responsive to the call of 
moral duty than those who are committed for instruc- 
tion to strangers. 

''Third — The progress of a pupil in knowledge is in a 
great measure proportioned to the confidence he has in 
his preceptor. Now, in whom does a child place so much 
belief as in his mother*? She is his oracle and prophet. 
She is his guide, philosopher and friend. He never 
doubts what his mother tells him. The lesson he receives 
acquires additional force because it proceeds from one to 
whom he has given his first love, and whose image in after 
life is indelibly stamped on his heart or memory. 
Mothers, do not lose the golden opportunity you have of 
training your children in point of morals while their 
hearts are open to drink in your every word. 

''Fourth — You share the same home with your children. 
You frequently occupy the same apartment. You eat 
at the same table with them. They are habitually before 
your eyes. You are, therefore, the best fitted to instruct 
them and you can avail yourself of every little incident 
that presents itself and draw from it some appropriate 
moral reflection." 

He denounced the laxity of the laws in some of the 
western States which permitted "divorce colonies" to 
spring up there, saying: 

"The ease with which divorces may be obtained in some 
of our States is nothing less than criminal. One of the 
favorite grounds in these days is what is called 'incom- 
patibility of temper.' A wife may burn a pan of biscuits. 
The husband chides her. Miserable little biting words 
fly from their tongues. There is never a thought of for- 


bearance on the part of either. There is never a thought 
of the children. Only the selfish pride of the parents is 
considered, and presently there is an action brought for 
divorce. Incompatibility of temper! Bah!, I say to the 
laws which permit such things. They affront God and 
every one who fears Him." 

His sympathy went out warmly to the children of 
divorcees. In a sermon he said : 

"I can conceive no scene more pathetic, nor one that 
appeals more touchingly to our sympathies than the con- 
templation of a child emerging into the years of discre- 
tion seeing her father and mother estranged from each 
other. Her little heart is yearning to love. She longs to 
embrace both her parents; but she finds that she cannot 
give her affection to the one without exciting the resent- 
ment or displeasure of the other." ^ 

Gibbons' voice was raised earnestly against "race sui- 
cide," to which attention was vigorously called by Mr. 
Roosevelt while serving as President. The Cardinal con- 
sidered this to be a certain sign of national decay unless 
it were arrested. In a letter to the Baltimore Sun^ Oc- 
tober 18, 1907, he wrote: 

"Marriage, according to the Christian dispensation, is 
not intended for self-indulgence, but for the rearing of 
children in the knowledge and fear of God, who will 
fulfill their every obligation as individuals and as mem- 
bers of the social body, and prepare themselves for the 
eternal society of their Divine Master and His faithful 
servants. Its duties, properly fulfilled, develop in the 
highest degree self-denying, unfailing, courageous devot- 
edness in the individual ; and, consequently, in the f am- 

* Discourses and Sermons, pp. 523-524. 


ily, the strong and tender bonds that hold its members in 
undying fidelity and love. . . . 

"It is a great mistake to suppose that the two or three 
children of the small family, who receive all the advan- 
tages and all the indulgences that their parents can be- 
stow, are going to become the best men and women. 
There is a discipline and a training in the large family, 
where the feelings and rights of others have constantly 
to be reckoned with, which is much more effective in pre- 
paring the right sort of men and women to meet the con- 
ditions of real life. Those thus reared will not so easily 
be found among the hordes of lazy, self-centered do- 
nothings, who are of no good to church, or to society, or to 

"The race has not improved, but has suffered disaster 
in both nations and communities, where the procreation 
of children has not been looked upon as a matter far too 
sacred and momentous to be left to the control of in- 
dividual appreciation of its manifold and perplexing 
problems. The accidentally occurring case of excep- 
tional hardship for the mother, where physical health is 
gravely compromised, has been made far too much of. 
All important general laws bear hard at times upon the 

After the woman suffrage amendment was adopted. 
Gibbons called it a "plunge into the deep," but he pub- 
licly recommended that all women, in compliance with its 
spirit, should register and vote. He went so far as to urge 
Sisters of the orders in the Church to vote, saying that it 
was a duty which belonged to them in common with all 
other members of their sex. 


Gibbons contributed to the cordiality of relations be- 
tween the United States and the States of Latin America 
by instituting in Washington an annual Pan-American 
Thanksgiving celebration in the form of a Mass, which 
was usually attended by a number of members of the 
Cabinet and almost the entire diplomatic corps from the 
republics of the Western hemisphere. Presidents were 
accustomed to be present at this Mass at least once and 
sometimes oftener in the course of their terms of office. 
The service was held at St. Patrick's Church, and after it 
there was a luncheon in the rectory, at which speeches 
were made tending to conserve the concord among the 
countries represented. 

On these occasions, Gibbons usually spoke, edifying 
his hearers with discourses which brought home to them 
the responsibility which the diplomatic representatives of 
States bore in promoting international friendship and the 
adjustment of disputes by peaceful means. In his ad- 
dress at the luncheon following the Thanksgiving Mass 
in 1913, he emphasized the fact that the annual celebra- 
tion was not a form of participation by the Church in 
affairs of state. He said : 

"Critics have taken exception to this celebration on 
account of its quasi-official nature, expressing the belief 



that we aim at union of Church and State. An old 
Scotchman said to another: 'Sandy, Sandy, honesty is 
the best policy. I know, because I've tried both.' The 
Church has tried both union of Church and State and the 
independent cooperation of Church and State, and she 
knows the results of both." 

The last President of the United States with whom he 
came in contact while in office was Wilson. When Hard- 
ing was inaugurated he was near the last stages of his 
fatal illness, but he planned a visit to the new President 
at the White House as one of the first things which he 
would undertake in the event of his recovery. He had 
become acquainted with Harding while the latter was 
a United States Senator from Ohio, but Wilson had been 
in public life for only a comparatively short period previ- 
ous to 1912 and Gibbons had not known him personally. 

On October 17 of that year, when it appeared that 
Wilson's election to the Presidency was certain, the Car- 
dinal took occasion to compliment Mrs. Wilson by a 
personal call upon her while she was on a visit to Balti- 
more. She was the guest of Mrs. William M. Ellicott, a 
non-Catholic who was active in social-service work, in 
some of whose charitable undertakings the Cardinal had 
cooperated actively. Mrs. Ellicott invited him to meet 
Mrs. Wilson, and he accepted the invitation with pleas- 
ure, engaging in a cordial conversation with the wife of 
the future President. 

His first visit to Wilson was on April 8, 1913, a little 
more than a month after the inauguration. The President 
had just returned to the White House after delivering 
in person his first message to Congress. When salutations 





had been exchanged, Gibbons remarked that he had never 
seen Wilson before. The President quickly replied: 'T 
have seen you," explaining that he referred to the time 
when he had been a student at the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity and had observed with something of a sense of 
distant awe the figure of the Archbishop in the latter's 
daily walks about the streets of Baltimore. 

On the occasion of this visit, Gibbons entered into no 
intimate discussion of public affairs with Wilson, intend- 
ing merely to convey his respects, for he wished all of the 
Presidents to have personal evidence of the loyalty to 
the constituted authorities of his country which lay so 
close to his heart. What that loyalty meant, Wilson 
had abundant and intimate reason to know later v^hen, 
during the ordeal of the World War, Gibbons was one 
of the strongest influences in bringing out the full na- 
tional support of the administration which was essential 
to success. 

Among Gibbons' numerous friends in public life was 
Admiral Dewey, the victor of Manila. When President 
McKinley presented to Dewey, October 3, 1899, a sword 
which had been voted to him by Congress, the Cardinal 
pronounced the benediction at the close of the ceremony. 

One of the most thorough of the many replies which 
the Cardinal made to the charge brought by some against 
Catholics that their religious faith was incompatible with 
loyalty to American institutions was in an article con- 
tributed by him to the North American Review. In this 
he said that Catholics in the United States had "undis- 
turbed belief in the perfect harmony existing between 
their religion and their duties as American citzens. It 


never occurs to their minds to question the truth of a 
belief which all their experience confirms. Love of re-* 
ligion and love of country are bound together in their 

He stated with complete frankness in the article even 
the most odious of the charges brought against Catholic 
loyalty and replied to them. As to the Pope and political 
affairs in the United States, he wrote: 

"But an objection is repeatedly cast up to Catholics 
which, repugnant though it is to my inmost feelings of 
loyalty and reverence towards the Holy Father, I must 
take into consideration; for utterly impracticable and ab- 
surd as it is in our eyes, it seems to haunt the minds of 
many outside the Church. Suppose, it is said, the Pope 
were to issue commands in purely civil matters, should 
not Catholics be bound to yield him obedience'? 

"The Pope will take no such act, we know, even though 
it is a part of Catholic faith that he is infallible in the 
exercise of his authority; but were he to do so he would 
stand self-condemned, a transgressor of the law he him- 
self promulgates. He would be offending not only 
against civil society, but against God, and violating an 
authority as truly from God as His own. Any Catholic 
who clearly recognized this, would not be bound to obey 
the Pope; or rather his conscience would bind him abso- 
lutely to disobey, because with Catholics conscience is the 
supreme law which under no circumstances can we ever 
lawfully disobey. 

"Some controversialists in this country, gravelled for 
matter of complaint against the Papal dealings with 
America, have invented the fable that Pius IX recognized 
the Southern Confederacy. Of course the facts refute 
them, as the Pope merely extended to Mr. Jefferson Davis 
the courtesy which one gentleman owes another of ad- 


dressing him by his official title. They cling to the serv- 
iceable fable; and proceed to shudder at the thought of 
what might have happened if, in the crisis of our Civil 
War, the President had been a Catholic. 

"Let me relieve them by stating what would have oc- 
curred. A Catholic President would act, under the cir- 
cumstances, precisely as Abraham Lincoln; he would 
treat the recognition with a respectful silence, and con- 
tinue to prosecute the war to the best of his ability. If 
he acted otherwise he would be a traitor to his conscience 
and his God, to his country and to the Constitution which 
he had sworn to uphold. And he would have Catholic 
theological teaching at his back." 

At the dedication of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition 
at St. Louis, April 30, 1903, Gibbons delivered the invo- 
cation, imploring the Divine Power that "this vast terri- 
tory which was peacefully acquired a hundred years ago 
may be, for all time to come, the tranquil and happy 
abode of millions of enlightened. God-fearing and 
industrious people, engaged in the various pursuits 
and avocations of life. As this new domain was added 
to our possessions without sanguinary strife, so may its 
soil never be stained by bloodshed in any foreign or 
domestic warfare. May this commemorative exposi- 
tion to which the family of nations are contributing 
their treasures of art and industry, bind together the gov- 
ernments of the earth in closer ties of fellowship and 
goodwill, and of social and commercial intercourse." 

On the day before the dedication, the Cardinal pre- 
sided at a public debate on questions of theology at the 
Catholic University of St. Louis, which is directed by 


the Jesuit Fathers. President Roosevelt sat beside him 
on that occasion. 

Almost from the beginning of his labors as a Bishop, 
Gibbons was active in missionary efforts in behalf of the 
negroes. He wished the Church to put forth the strong- 
est influences that would help them in their struggle up- 
ward. His vigorous efforts helped to prevent the enact- 
ment of a separate coach law applying to railroads in 
Maryland, and on another occasion he aided in the de- 
feat of a bill requiring the separation of the races on the 
street cars of Baltimore. 

Negroes appreciated his benevolent interest in them. 
This was expressed by a colored city councilman of Bal- 
timore, Harry S. Cummings, in a letter addressed to the 
Cardinal on his seventy-ninth birthday, from which the 
following are extracts: 

"Regardless of race, creed or condition, the oppressed 
of this land rightly look upon you as their true friend, 
and therefore as one whose long life and continued 
service are a matter of the deepest concern and of 
earnest prayer. You will therefore permit me, as an 
humble representative of my race in this city, knowing 
as I do their sufferings and their hopes, their heart beats 
and their yearnings, their eternal gratitude and devotion 
to you regardless of their religious leanings, to congratu- 
late you on this the seventy-ninth anniversary of your 
birth, and assure you that our sentiment is a reflex of 
that of the more than 10,000,000 negroes in this land." 

In an article in the North American Review for Octo- 
ber, 1905, the Cardinal pronounced lynching "a blot on 
our American civilization." He traced the evil to its 


source by pointing out the difficulty and, at times, the 
impossibility of securing the prompt trial and punish- 
ment of offenders under the criminal laws which pre- 
vailed in a number of States. Revision of these laws in 
the interest of speedy and effective justice and their im- 
partial enforcement he considered a sovereign remedy for 
the trouble. 

A few years previously he had commented on recent 
race troubles in the South as follows: 

"In the history of mankind it has been observed that 
when two distinct races have coexisted in the same terri- 
tory, one race has always exercised a certain supremacy 
over the other. While this principle is admitted, it is 
the manifest duty of every patriot, statesman and Chris- 
tian to see that the relations between the races should be 
friendly, harmonious and mutually beneficial. The race 
conflicts, antagonism and bloodshed which have recently 
occurred in several States of the Union can be largely 
traced to two great causes — the one-sided and ill-directed 
system of negro education and the consequent abuse of 
the ballot-box. 

"The colored race is naturally kind and gentle, affec- 
tionate and grateful, with religious emotions easily 
aroused. But the education which it is generally receiv- 
ing is calculated to sharpen its mental faculties at the 
expense of its religious and moral sense. It fosters am- 
bition without supplying the means of gratifying it. It 
feeds the head, while the heart is starved. No education 
is complete that does not teach the science of self-re- 
straint, and that is found only in the decalogue and the 

"The abuse of the ballot-box is chargeable more to 
white demagogues than to the blacks themselves. The 
politicians use the negro vote for their own selfish pur- 


poses. I am persuaded that a restriction of suffrage by a 
property qualification would be a wise measure." ^ 

So continuous and powerful were Gibbons' efforts in 
behalf of both the spiritual and temporal welfare of the 
negroes, that Booker T. Washington spoke of him in an 
address in Baltimore as "America's foremost champion 
of the colored people." 

On several occasions Gibbons opposed restricting im- 
migration by means of a broad educational requirement. 
In June, 1906, he wrote to President Roosevelt that such 
a law would turn back much immigration that was de- 

When the movement was renewed in Congress in 1915, 
he sent a letter to a mass meeting in Baltimore held in 
opposition to it in which he set forth the reasons for his 
stand. He declared that the proposed law "would bar 
the ingress of great numbers of desirable prospective 
citizens, who, though unable to read or write our 
own language, may be fairly well educated in their own, 
and, at least, may possess health, strength, virtue, good 
sense, business ability and a desire to succeed with high 

He continued: 

"If this literacy test had been applied in the seven- 
teenth century some of those who came over to Plymouth 
on the Mayflower and to Maryland on the Ark and Dove 
would have been politely informed that they were unde- 
sirable persons and positively requested to return to the 
shores whence they came, 

"What would this country have amounted to as a 

* Baltimore Sun, November 26, 1898. 


nation had its founders immediately after the Revolu- 
tion closed its portals to honest but illiterate immigra- 
tion? Many of the nation's greatest men in every field of 
service were immigrants or the sons of immigrants. We 
still cherish the hope that this is 'the land of the free and 
the home of the brave,' and the refuge of those honest and 
virtuous men and women who conscientiously believe the 
land which gave them birth does not give them the rights 
or advantages that good men crave to live peacefully and 

He protested on several occasions against the persecu- 
tion of Jews in Europe. While such persecutions were in 
progress in Russia he wrote the following letter : 

"Baltimore, December 15, 1890. 
"Dear Mr. Hartogensis: 

''Every friend of humanity must deplore the system- 
atic persecution of the Jews in Russia. 

"For my part I cannot well conceive how Christians 
can entertain other than kind sentiments toward the He- 
brew race when I consider how much we are indebted to 
them. We have from them the inspired volume of the 
Old Testament, which has been the constitution in all 
ages to devout souls; Christ Our Lord, the founder of our 
religion; His Blessed Mother, as well as the Apostles. 
These facts attach me strongly to the Jewish race. . . . 
"I am yours very sincerely, 

"J. Cardinal Gibbons." 

In another letter he wrote that he did not credit for 
an instant the charge that Jews had committed murders in 
Russia in order to obtain blood for ritual purposes. 

He was opposed to confounding Sunday with the Puri- 
tan Sabbath. When a movement for stricter Sunday 
observance was started in Baltimore, early in 1900, he 


expressed his views vigorously. "The Christian Sunday," 
he said, "prescribes the golden mean between rigid Sab- 
batarianism on the one hand, and lax indulgence on the 
other. Rigorously enforced laws would cause a revul- 
sion of public feeling and the pendulum would oscillate 
to excessive laxity." 

Sunday he defined as a day for joy, adding: 

"It is a day when we are exhorted to be cheerful with- 
out dissipation, grave and religious without sadness or 
melancholy. We should remember that the Sabbath was 
made for the man, and not man for the Sabbath ; that it 
is a day consecrated not only to religion, but also to re- 
laxation in mind and body. My idea of the Lord's Day 
is expressed in these words of the psalmist : 'This is the 
day which the Lord made; let us rejoice and be glad 
therein.' " 

In a sermon on Sunday observance ^ he gave this illus- 
tration : 

"A pious Puritan lady was in the habit of locking up 
her little boy's hobby-horse, his toys and playthings on 
the Lord's Day, and he was required to spend a large part 
of the day in religious reading. To encourage her son, 
she would say to him : 'My boy, if you are good, Heaven 
will be for you a perpetual Sabbath.' But the felicity 
which his mother held out to him did not appeal to his 
imagination, ambition, or judgment, and when he grew 
up he discarded the practise of religion altogether." 

With President Roosevelt and John Mitchell, the 
labor leader, the Cardinal attended an open air mass 
meeting of the United Mine Workers and the Catholic 

* Delivered in the Baltimore Cathedral* January 4, 1914. 


Total Abstinence Union at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., August 
lo, 1905. More than 100,000 persons were present and 
the speeches were intended in part to promote better 
relations between labor and capital in the coal mining 
region. The Cardinal, addressing the immense crowd, 
said : 

"The members of society are as closely bound together 
as the members of the human body. I care not whether 
a man possess the wealth of a Rockefeller, a Vander- 
bilt or an Astor, what will his wealth avail him if he has 
no friend to grasp his hand"? What would it avail any 
man to own all the coal mines in Pennsylvania and West 
Virginia if there was no hardy son of toil to dig the 
coal and transport it to the centers of commerce *?" 

His sympathies were warmly enlisted in the fight 
against the ravages of tuberculosis. In October, 1907, 
he addressed a letter to the secretary-general of the Inter- 
national Congress on Tuberculosis, which was held in 
Washington in the following year, expressing the belief 
that the disease would ultimately be brought under as 
complete control as yellow fever, from which he had 
been a sufferer in his youth in New Orleans. 

There was no more rigorous critic of faults in American 
life than Gibbons — faults in politics, in social conditions 
and in business life. In a sermon ^ he condemned ex- 
travagance in living and business dishonesty, saying: 

"There is another form of dishonest life far more com- 
mon and reprehensible ... I refer to the pernicious 
habit of living above one's means. In fact, this vice may 
be considered as characteristic of Americans. Our coun- 

' Discourses and Sermons, pp. 490-491. 


trymen are fond of making money, but they are still 
fonder of squandering it. It has been said with truth 
that a French or German family can subsist on what is 
wasted by an American family. 

"One of the causes of this fatal extravagance is the 
love of self-indulgence and the ambition of keeping pace 
with our neighbor in the race for social distinction. I am 
envious of my neighbor when I observe that he keeps a 
splendid equipage ; that his house is elegantly furnished ; 
that he fares sumptuously; that he entertains lavishly; 
that his wife is dressed in the latest fashion, and I am 
determined not to be outdone by him. I enter upon a 
career of prodigality totally disproportionate to my in- 
come. But in a few years I find myself overwhelmed 
with debt and on the road to bankruptcy. I have been 
burning the candle at both ends. I have been squander- 
ing my present income, and have been mortgaging my 
future revenue. 

"The man who lives beyond his means is not leading 
an honest life. My young friends, you who are on the 
threshold of a business career, practise a rigid economy. 
Live within your income, no matter how modest that in- 
come may be. 

"Save up something for a rainy day. This is more 
easily done than you imagine. Where there is a will 
there is a way. The wants of nature are few and are 
easily supplied. Sweeter to your palate are bread and 
water in a garret, when you are free from debt, than is 
a delicious feast to the spendthrift who is tortured by the 
spectre of the creditor knocking at his door. While the 
insolvent debtor is a slave, you will possess a free and 
independent spirit and will enjoy the testimony of a 
good conscience." 

In an article on "Patriotism and Politics," in the North 
American Review for April, 1892, he actively ranged 


himself on the side of those who were trying to stop the 
ballot frauds which prevailed in many States. He em- 
phasized that when the fountains of legislation were pol- 
luted by lobbying and other corrupt means, when the 
hand of bribery was extended to municipal, State and 
national legislatures, when lawmakers became the pliant 
tools of selfish and greedy capitalists, then, indeed, patri- 
otic citizens had reason to be alarmed about the future 
of the country. 
He wrote : 

"Let the buyers and sellers of votes be declared in- 
famous, for they are trading in our American birthright. 
Let them be cast forth from the pale of American citizen- 
ship and be treated as outlaws." 

He cooperated in curbing the sweatshop evil. After 
a careful investigation, he said in a sermon that he had 
discovered in Baltimore that sweatshop workers received 
"starving wages," and that the result was that in a few 
years they became incapacitated. As practical remedies, 
he urged agitation of the question and pleas to the hu- 
manity of employers themselves. He even advocated 
discrimination by purchasers in favor of establishments 
which "treat their employees with justice and charity." 
The Cardinal commended by name the Consumers' 
League, an organization of women who were engaged in 
combating the sweatshop evil, and urged cooperation by 
all in its efforts. 

After a prize fight in 1910, there was a wave of pro- 
test throughout the country against the exhibition in 
theaters of motion pictures reproducing its details. 
Gibbons spoke with vigor on the question, saying : 


"If the pictures of this contest were permitted, I am 
sure hundreds of children would see them, and what 
would be the result'? Their morals would not only be 
contaminated, but they would have the wrong ideal of 
a true hero. After seeing the pictures a boy would nat- 
urally infer that the real American hero was a man be- 
spattered with blood and with a swollen eye given him by 
another in a fistic encounter. The boy would go and try 
to do likewise. This would be a sad state of affairs. 
There are true heroes whom the young can emulate in a 
way to improve their manhood and ideals." 

He was opposed to the principle of national ownership 
of public utilities. In an article in the Outlook in 1917 
he gave the caution: "Do not nag the railroads." He 
pronounced the American roads much more efficient than 
those of Europe, and expressed the hope that they might 
continue in private ownership in order to ward off the 
danger of a centralized power in the body politic com- 
posed of railroad officials and employees. 

Roosevelt once said that there was a lack of candor on 
the part of public men in the United States ; that there 
was only one man who had the courage to speak the truth 
under all circumstances and that man was Cardinal 
Gibbons. The Cardinal spurned the spread-eagle type 
of ostentatious patriotism, which blinds itself to na- 
tional defects in dwelling upon the other side of the pic- 
ture. But never once in the voluminous record of his 
public utterances did he express doubt that evils of all 
sorts from which the United States suffered would be 
overcome. In the long processes of political and social 
development his confidence, as he said repeatedly, was in 
the "intelligence and patriotism of the American people." 


In order that intelligence and patriotism might not fail of 
full effect, they must be exercised through active partici- 
pation by the individual citizen in public affairs. No one 
set more conspicuously than he this example which he 
exhorted his fellow-countrymen to follow. 


Cardinal Gibbons was within a month of being eighty 
years old when the flame was kindled at Sarajevo that 
spread until it had set all Europe in a blaze of war. In 
little more than a week after his birthday the German 
armies were streaming across the border of Belgium. He 
had been too practical to cherish dreams of a serene and 
unclouded old age, but the convulsion of the nations 
shocked him more than it did most men, because it meant 
the failure, at least temporarily, of his protracted efforts 
in behalf of world peace by the arbitral settlement of 
international disputes. 

For his own country he had thought that he saw com- 
parative safety in following the counsel of Washington 
to avoid entanglements with Europe, so far as they in- 
volved participation in offensive or defensive alliances 
that contained within themselves the seeds of war; but 
the project of international cooperation in steps for the 
prevention of war seemed to him to be the best means at 
hand during his lifetime for giving effect to what Wash- 
ington had sought. 

On the day when he learned that Germany had de- 
clared war on Russia, and that the great nations of 
Europe would inevitably be drawn in, he said : 



"It is dreadful. I had hoped and prayed that such a 
war might be averted. The misery and the sufferings that 
will result from it will be almost unfathomable. ... I 
had hoped against hope in the last few days that some- 
thing would arise to prevent such a blight." 

No American was more grieved than he at the depths 
of suffering into which Belgium was plunged. His ties 
with that country and its royal family had been close and 
had been renewed only a month before the war broke out, 
when he had dined with King Albert in the palace at 
Brussels, and Queen Elizabeth had visited him in Switz- 
erland. He had defended the government of Leopold, 
the predecessor of Albert, from the charge of maladmin- 
istration in the Congo State, though he had not attempted 
to exert any influence in regard to the international as- 
pects of that controversy which threatened for a time to 
assume a serious form. The destruction of Louvain Uni- 
versity, where so many Americans had received higher 
training for the priesthood, moved him profoundly. 

He accepted the honorary presidency of the Central 
Committee of the Belgian Relief Fund, which was 
formed in America to aid women and children made 
destitute in the martyrdom of their country. Mercier, 
the hero Cardinal of Belgium, his long-time friend, soon 
learned of the powerful help given by Gibbons in the 
raising of funds for relief, and began a correspondence 
with him which continued throughout the war. Gibbons 
remarked that "too much cannot be said in praise of the 
heroism of the little nation and its King," adding: 

"Had Belgium acquiesced in the demand of Germany, 
and permitted the free passage of the German armies, 


they would have marched straight to Calais and dictated 
terms to the world. If the Allies should prove victori- 
ous, to Belgium should be restored fourfold what she has 

The death of Pius X on August 20, 1914, which was 
due in large part, perhaps even wholly, to the shock 
caused by the outbreak of the war, caused Gibbons to 
hasten to Rome. Pius had been crushed by a realization 
of the fact that the religious forces of the world were 
helpless to check the progress of the unexampled strife. 
In one of his last moments he said : 

"In ancient times the Pope by a word might have 
stayed the slaughter, but now he is impotent." 

Again he remarked as death seemed at hand: 

"I begin to think, as the end is approaching, that the 
Almighty in His inexhaustible goodness wishes to spare 
me the horrors which Europe is undergoing." 

Gibbons, who had visited Rome only a few months 
before, retraced his journey in an effort to arrive in time 
for the conclave that was to elect a successor to the See 
of Peter. On the day after the death of Pius, he sailed 
from New York for Naples with Cardinal O'Connell. 
Cardinal Farley, the third American member of the 
Sacred College, was then in Switzerland. 

Despite his eighty years, there was a suggestion in sev- 
eral quarters that Gibbons might be supported for the 
supreme Pontificate. When the matter was mentioned 
in his presence, he remarked that he "preferred to be an 
American Cardinal." 


Gibbons and O'Connell arrived in Naples on the morn- 
ing of September 3. A few hours after they set foot on 
land, and before they could reach the Eternal City, Car- 
dinal della Chiesa, Archbishop of Bologna, was elected 
Pope, taking the name of Benedict XV. The vote of 
Cardinal Farley had prevented America from being un- 
represented in the conclave. Gibbons was one of the 
first persons outside of that gathering to greet the new 
Pope, who had had occasion in former years to learn of 
the real reach of his influence through having been secre- 
tary to Cardinal Rampolla. Benedict was being robed in 
his new white cassock when the American Cardinal ar- 
rived, the conclave not having been dissolved. 

At Benedict's invitation, he remained in Rome for a 
short time and visited the Pope twice for consultation. 
Nine days after his arrival he sailed for home, reaching 
Baltimore September 24. Upon his return there he said : 

"Thank God that amid the horrors of war I find here 
our country enjoying the blessings of peace. Too much 
praise cannot be bestowed upon the rulers of our nation 
who have persistently refused to draw the sword, even 
under provocations at times trying." 

Four days later, opening a convention in Baltimore of 
the American Federation of Catholic Societies, he prayed 
for peace, asking that Divine guidance be given to Presi- 
dent Wilson and the administration. The President hav- 
ing requested general prayers for peace on October 4, 
Gibbons issued a circular to the priests of his diocese in 
which he said : 

"In compliance with the edifying invitation of the 
President, you are hereby directed to signalize Sunday, 


the fourth day of October, with some special prayers of 
devotion directed to Almighty God, to obtain from Him 
the blessings of peace for the warring nations of Europe, 
and in your sermon on that day you will urge upon your 
people to pray for the same holy intention in their private 
devotions at home." 

In the first few months of the war, Gibbons saw 
nothing that Americans could do to avert the fate which 
was overtaking Europe, except to pray for peace and to 
assist those made homeless by the conflict. As it seemed 
to him, there were two great influences which in some 
way might become effective later in ending the slaughter. 
These were the Holy See, which implored peace by the 
best practical means that could be found by statesmen, 
and the United States, which, being then in a detached 
position, might find an opening for the exercise of its 
good offices. What that opening might be, he could not 
see; still he hoped that it would be disclosed. As a gen- 
eral course of action for Americans, he advised prudence 
and calmness in speech and action. 

He was moved to emphasize his exhortation to calm- 
ness when the news of the sinking of the Lusitania 
reached him. He said : 

"I feel the greatest horror over this tragedy — so many 
women, children and other non-combatants losing their 
lives. The American people must be calm and prudent. 
It is best to leave the destinies of the nation in the hands 
of the President and the government. Popular sentiment 
is not a standard to be followed too hastily. The calm 
deliberation of our national executive will lead to the best 
solution. In the meantime the thing for the people to do 


is to ask Almighty God in fervent prayer to guide our 
government to the best and wisest solution." 

He urged "trust in God, in His wisdom. His justice 
and His love," saying: 

"While we cannot understand His thought, we may 
be sure that for some good reason He has permitted this 
dreadful strife. God is the moral ruler of the nations 
and while the human mind shrinks appalled at the de- 
struction of life and property, we can still believe that 
out of it good will come to the world when nations shall 
have been humbled for their pride, their desire for con- 
quest and their forgetfulness of the higher things. Then, 
in their humiliation, when they have learned that it is 
not by might, nor armies, nor cannon, nor rifles that na- 
tions come to truest greatness, the world will see how He 
has made even the wrath of man to praise Him." 

He continued to hope that America might escape being 
drawn into the conflict. After the torpedoing of the 
Arabic^ he said: 

'T feel that the loss of a few lives on the Arabic com- 
pares as a feather when weighed against the awful calam- 
ity of war. If war comes, it will mean more than the loss 
of a few lives. . . . Our best men will be sacrificed. I 
hope that the people will consider this well before they 

When, soon after the Arabic incident, Germany gave a 
definite promise to the United States to modify her 
methods of submarine warfare, Gibbons became the 
medium of communications between Pope Benedict and 
President Wilson in regard to steps which might be taken 
to bring the conflict to an end. The position of the 
Papacy had been well known from the beginning, and 


Benedict was now convinced that, as President Wilson 
had shown to both groups of belligerents the fairness and 
goodwill of the American government, he was in a posi- 
tion to address them with some authority in a manner 
which might ultimately lead to a settlement without 
prolongation of the bloodshed. For his part, the Pope 
expressed his readiness to give the whole support of the 
Catholic Church to the person, institution or country that 
undertook the "noble mission of ending the war." 

Gibbons called upon President Wilson September 2, 
and they discussed the entire situation, after which he 
conferred with Secretary Lansing at the State Depart- 
ment. He engaged in a general discussion with both 
officials as to the prospects of effective action for peace. 
It appeared, however, that neither of the belligerent 
groups was willing to invite the United States, even in- 
formally, to intervene, and that nothing which would 
have any important result in that direction could be 
undertaken at the time. There was accomplished, how- 
ever, through the medium of Gibbons, a full understand- 
ing between the Vatican and the White House as to the 
position of both regarding the outlook, and while Gibbons 
still cherished the hope that some action in behalf of 
peace might be taken, he was under no illusion that it 
was possible to attain that before one of the warring 
groups had been reduced to greater extremity than was the 
case then. 

A little later ^ he expressed the view that there was as 
yet no prospect that the United States would be drawn 
into the war. He said : 
* November i6, 1915. 


"I am not in favor of preparedness for war, and neither 
am I in favor of peace at any price. . . . What have we 
to fear*? The nations of Europe are exerting their physi- 
cal and financial strength, and not one of them is anxious 
to cope with a new foe. They do not seek conquest on 
this side of the world. Rather are they anxious to attain 
friendly relations with this great nation. Therefore I 
see no reason why we should fear hostilities." 

He rebuked those who asserted that the war indicated 
failure on the part of Christianity, saying: 

''Christianity is not an issue in the war, because those 
who entered the war are not following the teachings of 
Christ. He taught peace on earth. . . . Had the natiens 
followed the teachings of Christ, there would be no war 

He was one of the first to call attention to the fact that 
the war was turning men's minds to religion. Late in 
1915 he said: 

"A tremendous religious reawakening all over Europe 
is already beginning to show. Particularly is this true 
in France and Germany. Men are coming to realize the 
need and comfort of religion." 

He refused to associate himself in any way with the 
movement of Henry Ford, which resulted in the sending 
of an unofficial American peace mission to Europe. Ford 
called upon him in Baltimore and outlined the plan to 
him but was unable to alter the Cardinal's view that it 
would be ineffective. When the League to Enforce Peace 
was formed, however, he saw in it at least the germ of a 
practical idea, and wrote thus to its head, ex-President 


"The plan is a sane one, for it does not make the mis- 
take of disregarding the fact that human nature in the 
future will be very much the same as today and yester- 
day. The passions of men cannot be wholly eliminated. 
The same is true of their weaknesses; but much could be 
done to curb the one and strengthen the other." ^ 

The accumulating complications of the war that in- 
volved America caused Gibbons at last to accept reluc- 
tantly the view that his country could not escape par- 
ticipation. His thoughts then turned to preparation for 
the emergency which he regarded as almost inevitable. 
On his eighty-second birthday he declared for universal 
military training to "safeguard the nation, build up its 
manhood, and fuse its foreign strains." He said: 

"The camp schools make a man stronger and broader. 
They make him more patriotic and more fit physically, 
morally, socially and intellectually. They take him from 
the passions of vice and sin. They throw him in touch 
with men of other circumstances, from other places. 
They make him feel that there is something out there in 
the nation which demands his loyalty and service. They 
bring the rich man and the poor man together on an equal 
footing, and teach them that they owe an equal alle- 

His conviction that America must meet the shock 
deepened fast, and when the final steps were taken that 
pledged the nation on the side of the Allies he was fully 
prepared. On April 6, the day when the Congressional 
resolution was passed declaring that a state of war existed 
between the United States and Germany, the Cardinal 

'May, 1916. 


said that "there must be no shirkers." He expressed his 
complete readiness to support his country in any way and 
urged Catholic young men to enlist, saying: 

"In the present emergency it behooves every American 
citizen to do his duty and to uphold the hands of the 
President and the legislative department in the solemn 
obligation that confronts us. The primary duty of a 
citizen is loyalty to his country. This loyalty is mani- 
fested more by acts than words ; by solemn service rather 
than empty declamation. It is exhibited in absolute and 
unreserved obedience to his country's call. 

"Both houses of Congress, with the executive, are 
charged and sworn to frame those laws that are demanded 
by the present crisis. Whatever, therefore. Congress may 
decide should be unequivocally complied with by every 
patriotic citizen. The members of both houses of Con- 
gress are the instruments of God in guiding us in our 
civic duties. It behooves all of us, therefore, to pray 
that the Lord of Hosts may inspire our national legisla- 
ture and executive to frame such laws in the present 
crisis as will redound to the glory of our country, to 
righteousness of conduct, and to the future permanent 
peace of the nations of the world." 

Under the leadership of Gibbons, the Catholics of the 
United States were the first religious body to pledge their 
full and active support to the government. On April 18, 
twelve days after the declaration of war, the Archbishops, 
on his proposal, adopted the following resolution at their 
annual meeting held at the Catholic University in Wash- 
ington : 

"Standing firmly upon our solid Catholic tradition and 
history, from the very foundation of this nation, we af- 
firm in this hour of stress and trial our most sacred and 


sincere loyalty and patriotism toward our country, our 
government, and our flag. 

"Moved to the very depths of our hearts by the stirring 
appeal of the President of the United States, and by the 
action of our National Congress, we accept whole-heart- 
edly and unreservedly the decree of that legislative 
authority proclaiming this country to be in a state of war. 

"We have prayed that we might be spared the dire 
necessity of entering the conflict, but now that war has 
been declared we bow in obedience to the summons to bear 
our part in it with fidelity, with courage and with the 
spirit of sacrifice which as loyal citizens we are bound to 
manifest for the defense of the most sacred rights, and 
the welfare of the whole nation. 

"Acknowledging gladly the gratitude that we have 
always felt for the protection of our spiritual liberty and 
the freedom of our Catholic institutions, under the flag, 
we pledge our devotion and our strength in the mainte- 
nance of our country's glorious leadership in these posses- 
sions and principles which have been America's proudest 

"Inspired neither by hate nor fear, but by the holy 
sentiments of truest patriotic fervor and zeal, we stand 
ready, we and all the flock committed to our keeping, to 
co-operate in every way possible with our President and 
our national government, to the end that the great and 
holy cause of liberty may triumph and that our beloved 
country may emerge from this hour of test stronger and 
nobler than ever. 

"Our people, as ever, will rise as one man to serve the 
nation. Our priests and consecrated women will once 
again, as in every former trial of our country, win by their 
bravery, their heroism and their service new admiration 
and approval. 

"We are all true Americans, ready as our age, our 
ability and our condition permit, to do whatever is in us 


to do for the preservation, the progress and triumph of 
our beloved country. 

"May God direct and guide our President and our gov- 
ernment, that out of this trying crisis in our national life 
may at length come a closer union among all citizens of 
America and that an enduring and blessed peace may 
crown the sacrifices which war inevitably entails." 

Gibbons sent the resolutions the next day to President 
Wilson, who responded in a letter in which he wrote : 

"The very remarkable resolutions unanimously adopted 
by Archbishops of the United States at their annual meet- 
ing in the Catholic University on April i8th last, a copy 
of which you were kind enough to send me, warmed my 
heart and made me proud indeed that men of such large 
influence should act in so large a sense of patriotism and 
so admirable a spirit of devotion to our common 
country." ^ 

The measure of the response brought forth by this 
attitude of the leaders of the Church in America may be 
gathered from the fact that Secretary Baker later esti- 
mated the number of Catholics in the military and naval 
service at approximately one third of the total, although 
Catholics formed but one sixth of the population. 

From that moment until the war closed Gibbons, in all 
his public utterances that related to the supreme effort 
which America put forth, exhorted the fullest support 
of the public authorities. In an address at the commence- 
ment of Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, 
on June 19, 1917, he told the graduates that the United 
States had entered the conflict against Germany for prin- 

' Letter of President Wilson to Cardinal Gibbons, April 27, 1917. 


ciples based upon the solid foundation of justice and 
righteousness, saying : 

"We have not entered the terrible struggle simply for 
the glory that is in it ; we have a nobler and a higher mo- 
tive. God will guide our armies in the field and bring 
them to victory, because we are on the side of right. No 
standing army or superdreadnaught ever put together can 
win a war for any other cause." 

Herbert Hoover conferred with Gibbons soon after 
the declaration of war regarding the conservation of the 
food supplies of the country, soliciting his aid in the 
steps which the government was about to take with that 
end in view. The Cardinal promptly sent a letter to the 
priests in his archdiocese, urging them to impress upon 
their congregations the need of saving food as a factor in 
bringing victory. 

The Knights of Columbus were among the first organi- 
zations which took effective action both for sustaining the 
general war measures of the government and for helping 
the soldiers and sailors called for service. The directors 
of that order, at a meeting in Washington April 14, 
passed resolutions declaring that "the crisis confronting 
our country calls for the active cooperation and patriotic 
zeal of every true citizen." They reaffirmed "the patri- 
otic devotion of 400,000 members of this order in this 
country to our republic and its laws," and pledged their 
"continued and unconditional support of the President 
and the Congress of this nation in their determination 
to protect its honor and its ideals of humanity and right." 
President Wilson, in a letter of acknowledgment, pro- 
nounced this support "most enheartening." 


The Catholic Young Men's Union also undertook 
active work in support of the government. The Rev. 
John J. Burke, editor of the Catholic World, founded the 
Chaplains' Aid Association, whose object was to supply 
a sufficient number of Catholic chaplains for the soldiers 
and sailors and to assist them in their work. 

As Father Burke proceeded with his undertaking, he 
perceived the need of a more coordinated organization 
for marshaling the Catholics of the nation for the war. 
He laid before Cardinal Gibbons the project of calling a 
general meeting of Catholic societies for the purpose of 
unifying the war work. Gibbons asked him to consult 
Cardinals O'Connell and Farley, and if they concurred 
in his program to take the necessary steps for holding the 
meeting as soon as possible. The three Cardinals were 
unanimous as to the necessities of the case. 

At a meeting held August ii and 12 at the Catholic 
University, at which were present representatives, both 
clerical and lay, from sixty-eight dioceses in the United 
States, and representatives of many Catholic organiza- 
tions, the National Catholic War Council was formed to 
assist the government by unifying all Catholic war ac- 
tivities, by the establishment of local boards for the 
same purpose in each diocese, and, acting through the 
Knights of Columbus, by giving support to the welfare 
work for the soldiers in the camps. Father Burke was 
elected the first president of the council. 

That bo'dy proceeded with its task in full cooperation 
with the numerous non-Catholic organizations having the 
same objects in view which sprang up out of the general 
patriotic outburst of the people. It had been supposed at 


the beginning that $1,000,000 would be sufficient for its 
needs, but so greatly did its operations expand that nearly 
$50,000,000 were required in the end.* 

As the fast-spreading activities of the council empha- 
sized the need of a still more compact organization, Car- 
dinal Gibbons addressed a letter to the Hierarchy early 
in November, proposing the formation of a new National 
Catholic War Council to be composed of the Archbishops. 
This letter embodied a decision taken at an informal dis- 
cussion by the prelates who had attended a meeting of 
the Catholic University trustees. In his letter, Gibbons 
set forth that it was their unanimous opinion that the 
Hierarchy should act in concert in the support of the gov- 
ernment during the war; that the responsibility of taking 
the lead rested upon the Board of Archbishops, and that 
they should organize without delay as a Catholic War 
Council, associating with themselves a number of the 
Bishops for the active execution of the general plan. He 
added that the war "puts to the severest test not only 
our spirit of zeal, but our ability to organize and, with 
new difficulties, all realize that the situation demands 
the best thought and the best efforts of us all." 

Responses to Gibbons' letter were unanimously favor- 
able. On December 19 he sent a second letter to the 
Archbishops, proposing that as they could not meet as 
frequently as the situation demanded, the active man- 
agement of the War Council's activities should be in- 
trusted to a committee of Bishops. This plan having 
been approved, an administrative committee' of Bishops 

* Michael Williams, American Catholics in the fFar, pp. 113, et scq. 

"The members of this committee were the Rt. Revs. P. J. Muldoon, 

Bishop of Rockford, Chairman; Joseph Schremos, Bishop of Toledo; 


was appointed. Gibbons called together the members of 
this committee in a letter dated January 12, 1918, defin- 
ing their work as the direction and control, with the help 
of the American Hierarchy, of all Catholic activities con- 
nected with the war. Father Burke was appointed chair- 
man of a committee on special war activities. 

The War Department of the federal government was 
quick to realize the potent help which could now be ob- 
tained by calling upon the Catholic forces of the nation 
through the agencies thus set up. In the unexampled 
efforts which were put forth by the American people as 
a whole to assist their government and minister to the 
spiritual and material welfare of the soldiers and sailors, 
the National Catholic War Council bore a distinguished 

Gibbons, as president of that Council, as well as in 
numerous other capacities, became the greatest individual 
force, outside of a small circle of men holding high public 
offices, in sustaining the government during the war. His 
more than eighty years appeared to sit lightly upon him 
when he was called upon to respond either by deed or 
word to the needs of the nation in its supreme effort. On 
his birthday in 1917 he gave the following message to 
those about to enroll themselves for the immense army 
that was then forming: 

"Be Americans always. Remember that you owe all 
to America, and be prepared, if your country demands it, 
to give all in return." 

Patrick J. Hayes, then Auxiliary Bishop of New York, and William T. 
Russell, Bishop of Charleston. 


He wrote to President Wilson on October i of that 
year, deploring excessive criticism of the war policies 
taken by the government, saying : 

"In these days of the gravest problems which have ever 
weighed upon our American government, our thoughts go 
out to the chief executive, warmed by heartfelt sympathy 
for the heavy burdens of office which he must bear, and 
freighted with the unwavering determination of loyal 
citizens to stand by him in his every effort to bring suc- 
cess to our armies, and to achieve those ideals of justice 
and humanity which compelled our entrance into the 

The President replied to him in terms of deep apprecia- 

In a sermon at the Baltimore Cathedral on Sunday, 
October 28, Gibbons urged all to pray for the United 
States and to give complete support to the government. 
He said: 

"The paramount duty of American citizens in the pres- 
ent crisis is a hearty and loyal obedience to the consti- 
tuted authorities. Be slow to criticize. Remember that 
you view the subject from one angle. Your rulers con- 
template it from various angles. They have lights and 
sources of information that are closed to you. 

"Your judgment of the administration and your criti- 
cism of their official acts should be always subordinated 
to a generous and whole souled submission to their rul- 
ings. It is theirs to command ; it is yours to obey, and in 
manifesting your loyalty to your country you will be 
pursuing a sacred and honorable course, and will be fol- 
lowing the invariable traditions of your fathers from 
the foundation of the republic. 

"Do not attempt to snatch faded laurels from the 


brows of your fathers. Let your own heads be crowned 
with fresh garlands. Say not like the Jews of old : 'We 
have Abraham for our father.' Say not, 'We are the po- 
litical children of Washington and the religious children 
of Carroll.' It will profit you nothing to possess their 
creed if you do not practise their civic and religious 

He continued to defend the justice of America's cause. 
On December 19, he issued a statement that in entering 
the war "we took the only course open to us," adding: 

"As an evidence of the righteousness of America's cause 
in the war, I would point to the patience of our President 
and Congress under the long series of grave injuries and 
broken pledges endured by the United States during the 
time when Germany was professing friendship for us. 
We were shocked to see our property unjustly destroyed 
in vast quantity, but what was immeasurably more seri- 
ous was to read of our men, women and children killed 
in violation of the universally accepted customs of the 

"When, at length, not only American citizens but 
neutrals everywhere suffered appallingly under the cruel- 
ties of a nation which hesitated not to disregard inter- 
national law, we learned that patience was being con- 
strued as cowardice, and that it was folly to hope that 
wiser councils would prevail among our enemies to bring 
about a change in their lawless policy. Then we took the 
only course open to us, the defense of our sovereign 
rights, as a nation upholding the ideals of truth and jus- 
tice in the hearts of all peoples. 

"We have entered the struggle with a clear conscience, 
seeking no territorial or financial gain, but the peace of 
the world, the liberty of its people and the security of all 


Meanwhile Gibbons freely lent his immense influence 
to the stimulation of war activities not directly connected 
with the policy of the government or with naval and mili- 
tary operations. He encouraged the women to give their 
active help to their country, and in an address to the 
Baltimore Catholic Women's War Relief Organization, 
late in 1917, suggested that the needle might even prove 
to be mightier than the sword, saying: 

"The sword is a weapon of destruction; the needle is 
an instrument of construction. . . . While you are 
seated over your work and while your busy hands are 
plying the needle, let your hearts expand in sympathy for 
the loved ones who are so far away, and let your lips 
whisper a prayer that they may return safe to their 
beloved ones at home." 

He issued several urgent appeals in the course of the 
war for the support of the American Red Cross. To the 
pupils of the Catholic schools, he made an especial request 
to enroll as junior members of the Red Cross, declaring 
that "in this time of peril our country needs the services 
of the children as well as of the adults." 

It being desired that coal miners should work on holy 
days and legal holidays, in order to keep up the country's 
supply of fuel, the help of Gibbons was asked. In a let- 
ter to Fuel Administrator Garfield, he urged that the 
miners should work on such days until the coal scarcity 
was over. He wrote: 

"It will be an invaluable service to the country and to 
humanity if they (the coal miners) will work regularly 
and avoid unnecessary loss of time, for every ton of coal 
which they place at the disposal of industries contributes 


toward the success of the nation in the titanic struggle on 
which we have entered." 

On January 12, 1918, he issued an appeal in behalf of 
the war thrift campaign, saying: 

"The door of opportunity to serve our country is flung 
wide open for practically every man, woman and child 
by the sale of War Savings Stamps. ... I earnestly 
commend to young and old, and more particularly to 
parents, this simple and easy method of acquiring the 
habit of thrift. We have reached a time when no loyal 
citizen of our country can afford to spend a dollar for 
wasteful luxuries. Such an expenditure resolves itself 
into a disloyal act. . . . 

"I urge upon our clergy and our parochial schools to 
aid in every way in the purchase of war savings stamps. 
For the help it gives to our country's cause, for the good 
it will be to those who take such steps, may this move- 
ment carry its patriotic and practical mission to every 
nook and corner of the nation." 

Preaching at the Baltimore Cathedral on Sunday, Feb- 
ruary 14,*^ Gibbons declared that the German war aims 
would fail. After emphasizing that the "spiritual re- 
public" founded by the Apostles without the sword had 
endured, he continued: 

"What does this prove? ... It proves that all 
schemes conceived in passion and fomented by lawless 
ambition, of which the present world-wide war is a strik- 
ing illustration, are doomed like the mountain torrent to 
carry terror before them, and to leave ruin and desolation 
after them, while the mission of men laboring under the 
inspiration of heaven is destined to shed blessings around 
them and to bring forth abundant fruit in due season. 



Let us earnestly pray that our brave young soldiers who 
are now in the trenches, or who are preparing to go there, 
may be preserved in their faith and morals from the dan- 
gers that surround them, and that they may heroically 
fulfil their mission." 

From time to time, as the war progressed in intensity 
and the sufferings which it brought were deepened, the 
Pope was condemned in some quarters for not having 
taken a pronounced stand in regard to the conflict at its 
outset. Gibbons, in an article in America^ the Jesuit 
Weekly,^ defended the course of Benedict XV. He 
showed that it was not Benedict but Pius who was reign- 
ing when Belgium was invaded in 1914, and that Pius 
was already in the shadow of death; that Benedict had 
strongly reprobated the violation of Belgium, had pro- 
tested to Russia against the violence to persons and con- 
science in the early occupations of East Prussia and 
Galicia, and had labored for prisoners and the war crip- 
pled and blind. In this article Gibbons wrote : 

"It has been said again and again that Benedict XV 
has forgotten Belgium, that he did not speak up for her 
in her hour of betrayal by the superior forces of her 
invaders. When Benedict XV came to the throne Bel- 
gium had already been invaded by the German armies 
and a considerable part of her territory overrun. The 
flagrant injustice had already been committed. 

"When the invasion took place the saintly Pius was 
already in the shadow of death. On coming to the throne 
the new Pope did not wait long to let the world know 
of his sentiments with regard to the violation of Belgian 
territory. He spoke at first with prudent circumspection, 

^ February, 1919. 


for not all the facts were in his possession. But he soon 
learned the truth and acted conformably to it. 

"According to the letter written by the Papal Secre- 
tary of State, Cardinal Gasparri, to M. van der Heuvel, 
Belgian minister to the Vatican, 'the violation of the 
neutrality of Belgium, carried out by Germany, on the 
admission of her own chancellor, contrary to interna- 
tional law, was one of those injustices which the Holy 
Father in his consistorial allocution of January 22 
strongly reprobated.' 

"His Holiness also protested to Russia against the 
violence to persons and to conscience displayed during 
the early occupation of East Prussia and Galicia, and 
against the harsh treatment of Monsignor Szeptycki, the 
venerable Archbishop of Lemberg. He has labored for 
the prisoners of war, for the crippled and the blind of 
the war's countless battlefields. Not once has he for- 
gotten that he is the father of the faithful. 

"His conduct toward the Italian government has been 
marked by such a spirit of conciliation, justice and abso- 
lute impartiality that high government officials have 
praised him and those under his jurisdiction. The silly 
and cowardly slanders recently brought against his 
patriotism by radicals are so gross as not to deserve a 

"The Holy Father has faced a terrible ordeal. He is 
facing it still. On all sides he is surrounded by pitfalls. 
Every act of his is watched, scrutinized, by jealous, criti- 
cal, hostile eyes, only too ready to find fault and to 
register blame. More than ever he needs the support of 
his loyal children. 

"The Roman Pontiffs of the past have ever found in 
American Catholics a whole hearted devotion. We are 
not going to fail our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV, in 
this supreme hour. For all that he has done so nobly 
and so unselfishly for the cause of peace and humanity 


his faithful children here in the United States, for whose 
people he has more than once expressed his admiration 
and love, are profoundly grateful. 

"Though at war in order that all the peoples of the 
earth may be really free, we wish with him that a just 
peace may soon be gained. For that peace he has nobly 
and generously striven. Men may not now realize the 
extent and the nobility of his efforts, but when the voices 
of passion are stilled history will do him justice. 

"As a last word I beg to congratulate my countrymen 
on the generous ardor with which they have rallied to 
the support of our beloved President in his dark hour of 
trial. He has striven for high ideals and has found a 
reward in an enthusiastic response from his fellow citi- 
zens. They have not failed him and will not do so in 
the future, but will continue to give him and his col- 
leagues that loyal support which is an earnest of com- 
plete victory and of a return of the happy peace for which 
he and the Holy Father are laboring each in his own 

Benedict XV pronounced Gibbons' defense to be the 
best exposition that had been given of his difficult posi- 
tion. So much impressed was he with the article that he 
ordered it printed in many languages and distributed. It 
was a forecast of the vindication that came to Benedict 
after the fiercest passions of the war had cooled. 

In the campaigns to obtain subscriptions to the Liberty 
Loans, Gibbons' help to the government was invaluable. 
He himself declared that he had invested in these loans 
"every cent at my command." All funds entrusted to 
him for general uses were, so far as it was proper to do 
so, invested in the same way. In a public appeal which 
he issued in behalf of the third Liberty loan, he implored 


Catholics to "come to the front now and give, give and 
give, until there is little left in the purse." 

For an army and navy edition of the New Testament, 
issued under the patronage of the Hierarchy for distribu- 
tion to the armed forces of the nation, he wrote a preface 
from which the following is an extract : 

"Called by the President, as the Commander-in-Chief 
of the forces of the nation, to the service of your country, 
love for its soil and its people must necessarily be the 
mainspring of all your military activities. In these re- 
spects, Christ, our Lord, is your example. He loved His 
native land, for He sanctified it by His presence; He con- 
secrated it in His precious blood, and He illuminated it 
by the glory of His resurrection. He loved his people. 
. . . As the sorrow and suffering of Good Friday were 
followed by the joy and triumph of Easter morning, may 
you who now 'sow in tears' later 'reap in joy.' " 

In the same preface he exhorted obedience to superiors 
and fortitude in meeting the duties and dangers of war. 

He cheered the "war mothers" in a letter read at a 
mothers' mass meeting in Baltimore (May ii, 1918) in 
which he wrote : 

"Every day news comes to us of our boys, both at 
home and abroad, freely giving themselves to the cause 
of liberty and justice, determined to endure all things 
— yea, if need be to die in defence of what they 
deem holy and right. But what of the mothers of these 
boys'? It will not be disputed that their self-sacrifice is 
the harder, their offering the more noble. Like that other 
mother who stood on Calvary and saw her Son die that 
men might live, the mothers whom you honor today suf- 
fer quietly, patiently and willingly. . . . May God bless 


these mothers and give strength and courage to their 

President Wilson having proclaimed Memorial Day, 
May 30, 1918, a day of public humiliation, prayer and 
fasting "beseeching Him that He will give victory to our 
armies in the fight for freedom," Gibbons sent to every 
Catholic pastor in his diocese a letter ordering services 
to be held in accordance with the proclamation, and en- 
closing a copy of it. In this letter he directed the priests 
"to have a Mass celebrated on May 30th to place before 
God those lofty Christian prayers of sorrow for our fail- 
ings, and petitions for our pressing needs, so admirably 
voiced in the recent proclamation of our President." 

The degree of support which hundreds of thousands of 
Americans of foreign birth gave to the country in its time 
of supreme trial greatly heartened Gibbons, as well it 
might, for no one had been more instrumental than he 
in making that condition possible by his struggle against 
the introduction of foreign influences in the Catholic 
Church in the United States. In July, 1918, he publicly 
expressed his satisfaction at the demonstration of loyalty 
by all elements of the population, and urged that the 
use of the English language be made obligatory in schools, 
because "language is the great assimilator." He added: 

"Teach the children of our foreign born the English 
language in our schools, and they will absorb the prin- 
ciples and traditions of our race." 

In the tense days during which the American armies 
were driving forward along the Marne and the Meuse in 
the final struggle of the war, he continued to take advan- 


tage of every opportunity to hold up the hands of the 
government in the manifold activities to which its great 
efforts had given rise. 

On the day before the armistice was signed, when it 
was evident that the allied armies had conquered, he 
preached to soldiers at Camp Meade, Maryland, calling 
upon them to thank God for the victory. He saw the 
fulfilment of his trust in the spirit with which his coun- 
try had embarked in the struggle, saying : 

"We have conquered because we believe that righteous- 
ness exalteth a nation. We have conquered because we 
believe in justice and humanity. We have conquered 
because we have fought for the eternal principles of 
truth and because we realize that our hope and our de- 
pendence, our trust and our success, repose in Him who 
is alike the God of battles and of justice." 


Throughout the war Gibbons had been guided by the 
promise made by the Hierarchy soon after America en- 
tered the conflict. With the coming of peace he felt that 
the promise had been fulfilled. He wrote: 

"That promise meant the consecration in patriotic 
service not only of our priests and of our religious, but 
also of our laymen and laywomen ; it meant not only one 
organization, but every organization ; not only one source 
of support within the command of the body Catholic but 
chaplains in the service; men in the army and navy, 
trained Catholic men and women who would devote them- 
selves to all the men of the service; the support of gov- 
errunent appeals by our Catholic parishes ; the erection of 
the huts and visitors' houses within the camps here; of 
service clubs in the cities ; of welfare work both at home 
and abroad. . . . The National Catholic War Council 
united in patriotic effort all Catholic organizations. . . . 
It has brought into national expression the Catholic prin- 
ciples of justice and of fraternal service that bespeak the 
continued prosperity and happiness of America as a 
nation." ^ 

During the period that ushered in the Paris peace con- 
ference, he cherished hopes of a blending of Benedict 
XV's Christian efforts for a permanent pacification of 

* Preface by Cardinal Gibbons to Michael Williams' American Catho- 
lics in the JVar. 



the world and the idealism with which President Wilson 
invested the preliminary discussion of terms. He was in 
correspondence with Mr. Wilson and, when the President 
went abroad for the conference, with the intention also 
of visiting the principal Allied countries, he wrote urging 
that a visit to the Pope be included. The letter was : 

"November 27, 1918. 
*'To the President of the United States. 
"My dear Mr. President: 

"I thank you very much ior your courteous reply to my 
last letter. I have taken the liberty of transmitting your 
letter to the Holy Father, as I know it will be a consola- 
tion to His Holiness. 

"The Holy Father has, both in letters and in private 
conversation, so often expressed his great admiration for 
and confidence in you, that I have taken it upon myself to 
do also what has long been in my mind, which is to make 
the following request of you: I know that it will give 
the Holy Father increased confidence and courage to 
know that you are going to be present at the Peace Con- 
ference, for, as you will remember, in the last message 
that I had the honor to convey from His Holiness to 
yourself, the Holy Father expressed to you his conviction 
that all humanity trusted to your ability and impartial- 
ity. I have since learned that while you are abroad you 
will visit Italy and I take for granted that you will go to 
Rome, and this brings me to the point of my request : 

"My dear Mr. President, as an American as well as a 
Catholic, as one who is bound to you by the bonds of 
patriotism as I am bound to the Holy Father in the bonds 
of religion, I ask you in the strongest and most affection- 
ate manner of which I am capable not to leave Rome 
without paying a personal visit to the Pope. I ask you 
to do this not only because it will be a great consolation 


to the Holy Father, who so admires and trusts you, not 
only because it will bind the hearts of Catholics to you 
forever, but because it will delight the hearts of all good 
men, who whether they agree with the Holy Father in 
religion or not, at least recognize him as the representa- 
tive of the greatest moral authority left in the world, and 
because you, Mr. President, in the opinion of all men, 
are the one who raised the late war from the plane of 
national jealousies into the plane of idealism and made 
it a conflict and a struggle for justice, for righteousness, 
for liberty and for nothing else. I say, then, that it will 
give delight to all men of good will to know that you 
have not disregarded or slighted the representative of the 
moral order. 

"I feel sure that I have only asked you to do what you 
have already determined in your heart to do, but which I 
felt it was nevertheless my duty to put before you. 

"I am, my dear Mr. President, with sentiments of the 
highest esteem, 

"Very sincerely yours, 

"J. Card. Gibbons, 
*' Archbishop of Baltimore."' 

President Wilson visited Benedict XV on the fourth of 
the following January, when they had a full exchange 
of views on the overwhelming concerns of the world 
which engrossed both of them. 

Gibbons issued a fervent appeal for the Victory Lib- 
erty Loan in April, 1919, saying: 

"The Liberty Loans, which came to broaden the vision, 
were providential, A nation always generous, but some- 
times thoughtless, even in its generosity; a nation which 
had preserved the ideals of the fathers of the country, 
but had wandered far from their examples of frugality 
and thrift, again expressed its patriotism by showing, in 


a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, that citizens who 
had never learned to save for themselves, could save and 
deny themselves for America. . . . 

"Work for the Victory Liberty Loan. If this involves 
sacrifice, glory in the sacrifice, with knowledge that char- 
acter is built on sacrifice, and by character America shall 
be made more truly great with each succeeding year." 

Always looking ahead, Gibbons turned at once to the 
problems of reconstruction. He no more lacked faith in 
the successful working out of those problems than he had 
lacked faith as to victory when America entered the war. 
In a Christmas message ^ calling upon all to rejoice over 
peace, he said that he saw no danger to the country in 
the period of reconstruction. He trusted the intelligence 
and common sense of the mass of the American working- 
men, and believed that the war would leave no great 
problem of labor. Neither did he fear a Socialist wave, 
believing that the workers in the United States could not 
be won to that cause. He added : 

"The only apprehension I might have would be with 
regard to the consolidation of control of the great public 
interests of the country in the authorities of the govern- 
ment itself." 

This was an allusion to the railroads, telegraph lines 
and other public utilities which had been taken over by 
the government for the purpose of more effective prosecu- 
tion of the war and which were subsequently returned to 
their private owners, as Gibbons had hoped. 

He favored a firm policy toward Communists and 
other extreme radicals who became active in the United 



States soon after the conclusion of the war, in sympathy 
with the Bolsheviki of Russia. On December 29, 1919, 
he said : 

"If the members of the Red organization do not like 
this country, let them go home. If they do not go, then 
we will have to send them there. They came here to 
become future citizens, not to be dictators. We cannot 
let them become dictators. 

"The foreigners who come to our shores have every 
opportunity to earn an honest living. Their environ- 
ments here are much better than they had at home, and 
the authorities give them every assistance possible to 
make them useful citizens of this grand country. 

"The laws here are not as hard to obey as those with 
which they had to contend in their former countries, but 
the foreigners must remember that the laws of this coun- 
try must be obeyed by them, the same as our own people 
must obey them. They cannot tell the authorities here 
how to run the country." 

In a New Year message to the public, which he was 
asked to give at the opening of 1920, he emphasized the 
same thoughts, saying: 

"All are now faced with the important mission to de- 
nounce and discountenance the Bolsheviki and radicals, 
whose aim is to undermine the principles of our insti- 
tutions and to substitute anarchy for law." 

When Cardinal Mercier came on a mission to extend 
the thanks of Belgians for the help which they had re- 
ceived from Americans in their hour of bitter trial, he 
was the guest of Gibbons in Baltimore, where those two 
giants of the Catholic faith exchanged felicitations upon 




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In the (jarden of the residence of T. Herbert Shrirer, Union Mills, Md. 


the happy outcome. The Belgian Cardinal expressed his 
deep gratitude at a meeting held in that city, at which 
he was presented to the audience by Gibbons as "an 
ardent patriot and fearless champion, who vindicated and 
upheld the honor, sovereignty and independence of his 
country at the risk of death itself." 

Later, when King Albert visited the United States, 
Gibbons was his guest at an official dinner in Washing- 
ton. The Catholic University conferred a degree upon 
the king and Gibbons presided at the ceremony, which 
was attended by the elite of Washington. On the same 
day he presided at the conferring of an honorary degree 
by Trinity College upon the Belgian Queen Elizabeth. 

While the war was in progress he had set on foot a 
collection among the Catholic parishes of the country in 
favor of the Catholic universities of Louvain and Lille, 
sorely tried by the strife. The amount obtained was 
about $100,000 and was evenly divided between those in- 

While Gibbons did not doubt that the problems of 
reconstruction would be solved without grave danger to 
American institutions, he emphasized that the help of all 
was needed for that purpose. The National Catholic 
War Council, when the conflict had ended, turned its 
attention as soon as possible to reconstruction plans and 
in time was transformed into the National Catholic Wel- 
fare Council for dealing with the problems of peace. 

At a meeting at the Catholic University in September, 
1919, presided over by Gibbons, the Hierarchy adopted a 
pastoral letter, the first since the Third Plenary Council 
in 1884, which was sent out over his signature and read 


from every Catholic pulpit in America. The letter set 
forth : 

"We entered the war with the highest of objects, pro- 
claiming at every step that we battled for the right, and 
pointing to our country as a model for the world's imita- 
tion. We accepted therewith the responsibility of leader- 
ship in accomplishing the task that lies before mankind. 
The world awaits our fulfillment." 

As to reconstruction, the letter declared that it would 
be an error to assume that the issues involved were purely 
economic, as they were at bottom moral and religious. 
It was urged that factions and elements should not fail to 
realize that the people as a whole had a prior claim to 
consideration. The supposition so much encouraged by 
radicals that class was naturally hostile to class was 
combated as a grave error. Not only were the obliga- 
tions of capital and labor mutual, but their needs and in- 
terests were mutual also. The moral value of man and 
the dignity of labor were emphasized. The letter pro- 
ceeded : 

"The right of labor to a living wage, with decent main- 
tenance for the present and provision for the future, is 
generally recognized. The right of capital to a fair day's 
work for a fair day's pay is equally plain. To secure 
the practical recognition and exercise of both rights, good 
will, no less than adherence to justice, is required. Ani- 
mosity and mistrust should first be cleared away. When 
this is done, when the parties meet in a friendly rather 
than a militant spirit, it will be possible to effect a concil- 

"We are confident that the good sense of our people 
will find a way out of the present situation. As the con- 


fusion occasioned by war subsides, calmer judgment will 
prevail. Men will see that internal peace and the co- 
operation of all classes must be secured if our country is 
to enjoy prosperity at home and respect abroad. Ameri- 
ca's great opportunity must not be sacrificed to selfish 
aims or partisan interests. We made war upon greed and 
selfish ambition. We shall not let them triumph within 
our own borders. 

"Catholics will do their full share toward the com- 
plete restoration of peace. With one mind and heart they 
will labor for our country's advantage. As their patriotic 
efforts were united to such good effect through the Na- 
tional Catholic War Council, we have determined, for the 
ends of peace, to maintain the spirit of union and co- 
ordination through the National Catholic Welfare Coun- 
cil. Under its direction our needs and problems in the 
several fields of education and social reform will be care- 
fully studied. Means will be taken to secure and publish 
correct information on all matters affecting the Church 
and Catholic life. The work of our organizations will be 
developed and directed toward the fuller attainment of 
Catholic aims." 

In his New Year sermon at the Baltimore Cathedral, 
January 3, 1920, Gibbons compared America's aid to 
Europe during and after the war with the deed of the 
Good Samaritan. He said: 

"Has not America played the part of the Good Samari- 
tan during the late world war^ Have not the American 
people been Good Samaritans to prostrate and bleeding 
Europe? Has America not aided those who were largely 
of a different race, language and religion *? 

"America has poured her treasure in abundance into 
the lap of Europe. She sent cargoes of provisions to the 
starving people. At this very moment, according to infor- 


mation furnished me by Mr. Hoover, America is daily 
supplying one or two meals to more than 3,000,000 
children in Austria, Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia and 

"She has sacrificed her sons on the altar of patriotism 
that they might free them from the yoke of bondage. 

"All this she has done without demanding or expecting 
compensation. She has not asked for a dollar of money 
or an inch of territory or an ounce of provisions for all 
her outlay. The only remuneration she has is the testi- 
mony of a good conscience and the sense of complacency 
in the example of disinterested patriotism which she has 
exhibited to the nations of the world." 

Gibbons added that "the brightest page" in the his- 
tory of the war to be chronicled by historians would be 
the record of "the part which America performed in the 
triumph of justice and humanity and her successive efforts 
that liberty should not perish from the earth." 

He lent the weight of his influence to the appeals that 
were made in behalf of different classes of war sufferers. 
In a message to one of the officials of the Near East 
Relief, he said: 

"The appalling tales of massacre and famine (in that 
region) appeal to humanity, and so I cannot urge too 
strongly the duty of immediate relief. It is a duty that 
rests upon every Christian people, and our country cannot 
fail to recognize and heed it." 

He urged fervently the giving of assistance to those in 
Poland who had been reduced to want by the conflict. 
The peace-time program of the American Red Cross was 
warmly supported by him. He declared that it was 


"perhaps less dramatic than that of war-time, but none 
the less glorious in its spirit and object." 

Pope Benedict transmitted a special letter ^ to Mr. 
Hoover, through Cardinal Gibbons, giving his endorse- 
ment to the European Relief Council, which collected a 
large fund in the United States for helping starving and 
sick children in Europe. 

In October, 1920, Gibbons declared his support of the 
League of Nations, holding that its principles were in 
accord with the encyclical of Benedict XV urging "that 
all States, putting aside mutual suspicions, should unite 
in one league, or rather in the family of the peoples, cal- 
culated both to maintain their own independence and 
safeguard the order of human society." He expressed 
his views in a statement which was widely circulated, of 
which the following are extracts: 

"What I most like and highly value about the proposed 
League is first the delay which it imposes upon any and 
all nations — you must not rush headlong into this thing 
in which we all run the danger of being involved. We 
say you must be frank, open and above board, you must 
place your plans before the world, and they must and 
shall be carefully weighed. In my judgment, this single 
new world regulation will reduce wars to a minimum. 
Second thought and careful consideration of steps to be 
undertaken is imposed, and on second sober thought, few 
will draw the sword. 

"And then I like and value that phrase and declara- 
tion, that it is the friendly right of each member of the 
League to bring to the attention of the Assembly or of the 
Council any circumstances whatever affecting interna- 
tional relations which threaten to disturb international 

'December, 1920. 


peace or good understanding between nations upon which 
peace depends. 

"It shall be the 'friendly right' — I like that immensely. 
In the next decade — better in the next ten months — I 
hope it will become the friendly right and the inevitable 
duty for all nations to combine for the preservation of 
peace. How often would wars have been avoided if in 
the past we had acted in this way and under these pre- 
scriptions ! How often it has been our thought to speak 
to a sister nation asking that conditions which are fraught 
with danger to the peace of the world and which threaten 
our brotherhood should be removed and we have desisted 
because, in diplomatic language, that would have been an 
unfriendly act! 

"I like the plan for delay. I like the solemn agree- 
ment for the prevention of international war which the 
covenant stands for and for which His Holiness, the 
Pope, expresses his warm approval. So with the great 
disaster behind us, although we still sit in its dark 
shadow, we should be, and I believe we are, determined 
to safeguard the order of human society which is in 
danger, to maintain the independence of the peoples 
within their just borders, and to reduce, if we cannot 
wholly abolish, the burden of military expenditure. 

"Sitting as a council of brethren, with the shadow 
of the great catastrophe still upon us, we should, and I 
have no doubt we will, draw nearer to one another and 
take up, in a fraternal spirit, seriatim, those vexed ques- 
tions that still remain and which are a grave menace to 
the fellowship of the forward looking, God fearing, God 
loving nations. These questions still threaten the peace 
of the world — that peace whose blessings we are just 
beginning to enjoy again. The world is very anxious, 
very weary." 

His confidence in the stability of America found new 


expression October 29 of the same year, in a sermon de- 
livered at the Baltimore Cathedral a few days before 
the presidential election. Taking for his text "Righteous- 
ness Exalteth a Nation," he said: 

"There are some despondent, illboding prophets who 
are in the habit of predicting the overthrow of our coun- 
try. They tell us that the only way to avert this dire 
catastrophe would be the election of their favorite can- 
didate. These prophecies are made most frequently on 
the eve of a presidential election, like the present mo- 
ment. I have been listening to these forebodings for the 
past sixty years. 

"But in every instance, so far, the American people 
wake up in the morning after the election to discover that 
they were disquieted by false alarms and that the peo- 
ple were attending to their affairs and the Government 
was transacting its business as tranquilly as if no elec- 
tion had taken place. 

"From the foundation of our republic over a century 
and a quarter ago, our Federal Union has passed through 
a series of ordeals and upheavals which were well calcu- 
lated to test the strength and endurance of any nation in 
the world. 

"If I were asked on what grounds do I base my hopes 
that our system of government will endure, I answer that 
I rest my hopes on the enlightenment and patriotism of 
our citizens, the foreign born as well as the natives, for 
many of our adopted citizens who have groaned abroad 
under the heel of autocratic despotism appreciate all the 
more the blessings of constitutional freedom v/hich they 
here enjoy and will never surrender these blessings with- 
out a struggle. I place my hopes in the wisdom of our 
statesmen and in the valor of our soldiers. And surely 
we have strong grounds for our reliance on the military 


prowess of our army and navy from the records of the 
late war. 

"If the American Republic will survive, it must rest 
upon a stronger foundation than the patriotism of its 
citizens and the wisdom of its statesmen and the valor of 
its soldiers. It must rely upon a more impregnable force 
than standing armies and dreadnoughts. The race is 
not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. If our re- 
public is to endure it must rest upon the eternal principles 
of justice, truth and righteousness and downright hon- 
esty in our dealings with other nations. It must rest on a 
devout recognition of an overruling Providence that has 
created all things by His wisdom, whose searching eye 
watches over the affairs of nations and of men, without 
whom not even a bird can fall to the ground." 


It is Sunday morning. Every seat in the pews of the 
Baltimore Cathedral is filled. In the unusually wide 
aisles, characteristic of Cathedrals, almost as many more 
are standing. To be present is a coveted privilege. Per- 
haps one half, certainly one quarter, of the crowd are 
non-Catholics. It is difficult to detect who are Catholics 
and who are not. All seem to be equally attentive and 
reverent. It is the atmosphere of an assemblage unique 
in America, perhaps anywhere in the world. 

At one side of the sanctuary, upon his episcopal throne, 
sits a slender man whose countenance denotes a combina- 
tion of benignity and strength. The impression of him 
grows on the observer. He wears the blood-red robe of a 
Cardinal. Eyes are centered upon him. His expression 
is serene. His movements are graceful. When he walks 
he seems to glide, almost as if he were flying. 

It is not alone that he is a Cardinal which causes the 
congregation to rivet its attention upon him in the in- 
tervals of the service. An indefinable influence, seem- 
ingly of what has been called personal magnetism, pro- 
ceeds from him. Every motion that he makes is watched 
with intense, fascinated interest. His devotional spirit 
spreads to others. Without speaking a word to them 

directly, he is master of them. 



Now the time for the sermon arrives. Gibbons — for 
it is he — rises. With the gliding motion of which his 
easy movements give the appearance, he proceeds to the 
pulpit and ascends the steps slowly. For the first time, 
the many strangers in the congregation have a full view 
of him. His face appears to be very pale in contrast 
to his red robe. It is a face worthy of study under any 
conditions. The features are clear-cut, almost as if 
shaped by a sculptor seeking precision of outline. They 
express keenness, intensity, force, and yet the overpower- 
ing impression they convey is of saintliness. 

The countenance seems all alight. The gaze from the 
blue eyes is powerful. It appeals and commands at the 
same time. The lithe body is so vibrant with a mysteri- 
ous power that it almost seems poised for a spring. 
Withal there is a background of calmness and self-pos- 
session and of a simplicity of soul which utters an invo- 
cation before the lips move. 

There is a momentary pause. The stillness has an 
element of suspense. Now, from the dominant figure 
proceeds a voice as remarkable as the man. It is strong, 
high pitched, yet with the sweetness of a perfectly toned 
bell. In its general characteristics it is musical and pene- 
trating. Every word — even every syllable — pierces the 
atmosphere with singular clearness of enunciation. The 
words are simple. They are designed to convey a message 
which shall reach all and help all. The sentences, like the 
words, are short and knit easily together. The unlearned, 
even children, understand. The language and the elocu- 
tion blend to produce clearness as of a mountain brook. 

As the sermon proceeds, the voice gathers force but 


never rises in cadences of the artificial devices of oratory. 
The man has something to say. He has thoughts and he 
wishes those thoughts to reach others without loss in 
transmission. There are few gestures — perhaps none. 
The mobile and powerful-countenance, upon which every 
eye is fixed, supplies modulation and emphasis better than 
any gestures. 

But there is a force greater than the words, upon 
which the preacher does not count, of which probably 
he is not aware — certainly not fully aware. It is his 
ever-present personality. People seem to be gripped 
by something psychic. They are under a spell — the spell 
of a presence — with which no exalted office could invest 
any man. Even if he should utter the commonplace, it 
would produce a profound impression. 

There is little theology in what he says. Such phi- 
losophy as he expounds is not that of the schoolmen. He 
avoids abstruse processes of logic. There is an evident 
design to shun any display of learning. The whole efltect 
is of simplicity in which there is immense strength. He 
believes that there is more religion in lifting a burden 
from another's back than in exploring some new recess 
of theological thought. 

The hearer accepts the appeal as personal to himself. 
It is thus framed, thus delivered. The preacher at times 
seems to be speaking to the congregation as if they were 
his intimates. He reasons with them, allows for their 
own mental processes, and supplements them with his 
own. The effect is that of inviting the assent of indi- 
viduals to direct arguments gauged according to their 
understanding. He has a habit of conceding points 


which can be urged against any position which he takes. 
At times he will remark: "I grant you that this is true," 
or "I do not deny that it is true." A close and dis- 
criminating observer might remark that Gibbons stood 
upon a plane of Christian humility not above that of 
the humblest man in the audience; others, less disposed 
to analyze the impressions of the moment, would say 
that he had a marvelous facility of reaching directly into 
the consciences and hearts of those who listened. 

There is no reference to manuscript, though it is the 
Cardinal's custom to prepare his sermons in his own hand- 
writing. So tenacious is his memory that one or two re- 
readings of a sermon are sufficient to implant its phrase- 
ology in his mind for the time being. Now and then 
there is a slight departure from the original language, but 
it is a departure in words, not meaning, and is often 
intentional, based upon impressions derived from the 
congregation. If the circumstances have imposed especial 
care in memorizing the sermon, the words may flow with 
virtually complete fidelity to the prepared discourse. 
The whole appearance to the congregation is of spon- 

The end of the sermon is reached. The occasional 
hearer is surprised, for the Cardinal seldom preaches more 
than twenty-five minutes, believing that short sermons 
are the most effective. So potent has been his influence 
upon the crowd that some persons, standing or sitting, 
have scarcely moved a muscle since he began. They 
have followed every sentence with intensity of concen- 
tration. The simplicity of the thoughts has enabled them 
to carry the thread of the discourse easily. Even a per- 


son of poor mental powers could repeat a large part of 
the sermon at once, if he were called upon to do so. 
The message has sunk deep. It has been a part of the 
personality of the preacher, and his personality has been 
a part of it; and he has given it out to others. 

The Catholic from another parish who has listened 
exclaims: "If my priest could only preach like that!" 
The Presbyterian says: "If my pastor could only preach 
like that!" The Jew says: "If my rabbi could only 
preach like that!" The composite impression is that the 
Cardinal is the greatest preacher to whom the hearer has 

Why*? Perhaps the most prominent reason is because 
he has said something obviously needed as a help in daily 
life. He has expounded simple truths of the Gospel. 
Usually there is nothing doctrinal in the sermon, though 
now and then, of course, the Cardinal takes a doctrinal 
theme. What he says applies with equal force to any 
Christian, indeed, in many cases, to any well disposed 
man. He has used no terms of invective. There is no 
uncharity, no bitterness. He wishes to heal without 
inflicting pain. He illuminates the great truths of time 
and eternity, answers doubts, calms the troubled mind, 
dispenses sane counsel. The sermon has been practical. 
He has set before the hearer no exceptionally difficult 
standard — certainly not one that is impossible. He has 
expounded every side of his subject so that the impres- 
sion left is complete and satisfying. He has discarded 
the technique of the pulpit that he may put the hearer 
at ease. 

This is Gibbons the preacher as he was in his splendid 


prime, that long period between the ages of forty and 
seventy years during which he preserved the fulness of 
his powers as a speaker. After seventy there was a les- 
sening in the wonderful carrying power of the voice 
which, without being raised in tone, had been able to 
penetrate the remotest corners of Cathedrals and large 
public halls. It was a gradual lessening, scarcely per- 
ceptible to those accustomed to listen to him. There was 
also some diminution at times in his vigor of verbal 
expression, but again this was so slight as to be observed 
only by persons who heard him only seldom. He once 

"I can always manage to make my voice carry in- 
doors in speaking, although I sometimes have trouble 
in the open air. Early in life I was forced to give my- 
self a severe training in elocution. My health was bad 
and often I did not have the necessary strength to deliver 
long discourses. But I found that by training my voice 
in pronouncing each word distinctly, so that one would 
not fall over another and confuse the auditor, I could 
speak in a natural tone and be heard in a large church 
or hall. If my health had been better, I might not have 
taken the trouble to do this." 

Gibbons' appearance on ecclesiastical occasions when 
he did not preach and was able to center fully upon his 
devotions in church must have caused many to think 
that here at last was a saint in real life. His pale, 
spiritual countenance seemed to show forth a heavenly 
serenity as if illumined by an inner light. This was 
accentuated by the thin, clasped hands, the bowed head, 
the slightly bent form and the marvelous grace of poise 
and carriage. The whole aspect of the figure was sweetly 


appealing. It was of one come to bless, but never to 
condemn. The soul of the man, detached from the stress 
of the world, seemed to speak. Catholics, Protestants, 
Jews, men of any faith and no faith, felt a reverence that 
spread through the congregation like a mysterious thrill 
which none could escape. 

The crowds which assembled when he preached in the 
Cathedral were the wonder of Baltimore. No such had 
ever flocked to any other church there, or probably else- 
where in America. It was easy to understand why, when 
he left his own city, thousands should wish to hear him 
because of his distinguished name, but at home his ser- 
mons were far from a novelty, because for more than two 
score years he preached in the Cathedral once a month 
and any person who wished to be present could do so if 
he arrived in time to enter the building with the first of 
the crowd. 

The Cathedral is planted upon a broad hill surrounded 
by ample lawns and wide streets. On Sundays when Gib- 
bons preached, the near-by streets were crowded as if for 
a mass meeting in the heat of a political campaign. Men, 
women, and children stood in long lines, seeking an op- 
portunity to enter. By Gibbons' direction the doors were 
thrown open to the general public a few minutes after 
the service had begun. Pews then only partly filled with 
the families and guests of their holders were quickly 
crowded as the multitude flowed in, and the aisles were 
packed to the utmost limit consistent with the general 
safety. Outside the doors hundreds, often thousands, 
who were disappointed, turned away, resolving to come 
again at an early opportunity. 


The number of Protestants who were drawn to hear 
him was great at all times. Many of them preferred 
the pulpit deliverances of Gibbons to such an extent that 
they pasted copies of them in scrapbooks and retained 
them for years as a permanent guide in the multitude of 
difficulties with which his homilies dealt. 

Protestants were sure that they would not be offended 
by anything which he would say. In his Discourses and 
Sermons^ a volume of considerable size, published by him 
late in life, there are fifty-five titles, of which only six 
are doctrinal. Their general tenor can be comprehended 
from the following examples: 

"Am I My Brother's Keeper?" 

"Jesus Christ Our Friend" ; 

"The Race for an Unfading 'Crown" ; 

"Eternal Happiness and Conditions for Attaining It" ; 

"The Study and Imitation of Christ"; 

"Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles" ; 

"The Blessings of Christian Faith"; 

"Christ, the Only Enduring Name in History and the 
Great Reformer of Society" ; 

"Why We Should Rejoice"; 

"Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law" ; 

"Christian Manhood" ; 

"Prayer, Source of Light, Comfort and Strength"; 

"This Man Receiveth Sinners" ; 

"A Personal Providence"; 

"The Tribunal of Mercy." 

As to the length of sermons he wrote in the preface 
to the volume : 


"The author believes that their brevity will also com- 
mend them to the reader ; for long discourses are usually 
tedious and fatiguing. They weigh heavily on the mind 
as a surfeit of food palls upon the appetite; while short 
sermons, like a frugal and nutritious meal, are easily di- 
gested and assimilated." 

Gibbons' greatest sermon was, of course, ''The Faith 
of Our Fathers,'' the most popular and potent discourse 
framed by any cleric of modern times, which has had an 
influence upon hundreds of thousands of lives in all 
civilized countries. In that work, as in almost every 
sermon that he delivered, he was solicitous to avoid 
arguing over the heads of those whom he addressed. He 
was deeply versed in theology and philosophy and in his 
student days at St. Mary's Seminary his superior excel- 
lence in the latter branch of learning had been a subject 
of especial commendation. Throughout his life he kept 
up with the latest developments in these two fields, and 
with his rare mental equipment it was evident that had 
he wished to lean toward them in his churchmanship he 
would have ranked high in them. 

Recognizing both the absolute need and the practical 
value of theology and philosophy, he yet turned from 
them in his customary methods of appeal in the pulpit. 
He believed that others supplied enough of them. For 
himself, he would reach down for the simple things and 
exhibit them for the benefit of men who might not be 
able to comprehend anything else. His sermons, there- 
fore, lacked that profundity of presentation which would 
entitle them to be rated highly as works of theology; 
but it is doubtful if the traveler through this vale of tears, 


seeking direct comfort from a minister of God in the 
trials and difficulties which he must inevitably encounter, 
can find in the discourses of any other man a more accept- 
able or practical guide than in those of Gibbons. If it 
be true that he attained this goal, his work was crowned 
with all the success that he wished for it. It was the one 
end which he sought consistently. His aim was to remove 
the elementary obstacles. He felt that by this means 
he could reach masses immensely outnumbering those 
whom the refined and higher processes of reasoning might 
win to the fold. 

Gibbons loved to preach. This was not in the sense 
of deriving pleasure from the exercise of his powers as 
an orator, but in the sense of fulfilling one of his fore- 
most duties. During the many years when he was a 
Cardinal, he might have found ample justification in his 
own mind for devoting his time to the weighty affairs of 
administration which pressed upon him and preaching 
only at rare intervals. But amid all his preoccupations 
he considered his duties as a priest foremost. He con- 
tinued to visit the sick, to console the bereaved, even to 
hear confessions at times. It was not consistent with his 
purposes to neglect the preaching duty of the priesthood, 
no matter how great his elevation in the Hierarchy. No 
duties connected with service to the Church appeared to 
be uncongenial to him; the humbler they were, the hap- 
pier he seemed to be in performing them. 

Some of his pulpit utterances related to public topics 
of a general nature; but these were a small fraction of 
the whole. Whenever he introduced them he gave a re- 
ligious discourse first, and presented the correlative topic 


toward the end. For instance, in a sermon upon "Am I 
My Brother's Keeper"?" he concluded with a vigorous 
appeal against the continuation of the sweat shop evil in 
Baltimore, as giving a practical aspect to his main theme. 
Beginning by citing instances from the Bible of brotherly 
love and charity, including the story of the Good Samari- 
tan, he proceeded to say that his aim was not to commend 
charity only as an abstraction but, "to set before you a 
special class of persons in this city that you may help to 
improve their condition, to redress their grievances and 
enable them to earn by their industry an honest and com- 
fortable livelihood." He dealt with current conditions 
in sermons on topics such as divorce, Sunday observance 
and marriage, always on a religious basis. Of all the 
references to subjects of this nature which he introduced 
in his sermons, by far the largest number were exhorta- 
tions in behalf of loyalty to country. 

On the subject of discussing public questions in the 
pulpit, he thus defined his views in The Ambassador of 
Christ: ^ 

"As the minister of Christ is preeminently the friend 
and father of the people, he cannot be indifferent to any 
of the social, political, and economic questions affecting 
the interests and happiness of the nation. The relations 
of Church and State, the duties and prerogatives of the 
citizen, the evils of political corruption and usurpation, 
the purification of the ballot-box, the relative privileges 
and obligations of labor and capital, the ethics of trade 
and commerce, the public desecration of the Lord's Day, 
popular amusements, temperance, the problem of the 
colored and Indian races, female suffrage, divorce, social- 

*Pp. 262-266. 


ism, and anarchy, — these and kindred subjects are vital, 
and often burning questions on which hinge the peace 
and security of the Commonwealth. 

"Politics has a moral, as well as a civil, aspect; the 
clergyman is a social, as well as a religious, reformer; a 
patriot as well as a preacher, and he knows that the 
permanence of our civic institutions rests on the intelli- 
gence and the virtue of the people. He has at heart the 
temporal, as well as the spiritual, prosperity of those 
committed to his care. They naturally look up to him 
as a guide and teacher. His education, experience, and 
sacred character give weight to his words and example. 

"There is scarcely a social or economic movement of 
reform on foot, no matter how extravagant or Utopian, 
that has not some element of justice to recommend it to 
popular favor. If the scheme is abandoned to the control 
of fanatics, demagogues, or extremists, it will deceive 
the masses, and involve them in greater misery. Such 
living topics need discriminating judges to separate the 
wheat from the chaff. 

"And who is more fitted to handle these questions than 
God's ambassador, whose conservative spirit frowns upon 
all intemperate innovation, and whose Christian sym- 
pathies prompt him to advocate for his suffering brethren 
every just measure for the redress of grievances, and the 
mitigation of needless misery*? 

"The timely interposition of the minister of peace 
might have helped to check many a disastrous popular 
inundation, by watching its course, and diverting it into 
a safe channel, before it overspread the country. . . . 

"The reigning Pontiff, Leo XIII, in his usual masterly 
manner and luminous style, has, in a series of Encyclicals, 
enlarged on the great social and economical questions 
of the day. In his Encyclical of January, 1895, ^^' 
dressed to the Hierarchy of the United States, His Holi- 
ness says: 


" 'As regards civil affairs, experience has shown how 
important it is that the citizens should be upright and 
virtuous. In a free State, unless justice be generally 
cultivated, unless the people be repeatedly and diligently 
urged to observe the precepts and laws of the Gospel, 
liberty itself may be pernicious. Let those of the clergy, 
therefore, who are occupied with the instruction of the 
people, treat plainly this topic of the duties of citizens^ 
so that all may understand and feel the necessity in po- 
litical life of conscientiousness^ self-restraint^ and in- 
tegrity; for that cannot be lawful in public^ which is 
unlawful in private affairs.^ 

"Of course, the kingdom of God and the salvation of 
souls are the habitual theme of the minister of religion, 
the burden of his life-long solicitude; and the subjects to 
which I have referred, are, in the nature of things, ex- 
ceptional and incidental. They should be handled, more- 
over, with great prudence and discretion, with a mind 
free from prejudice and partisan spirit, and in the sole 
interests of Christian charity, social ordei*, and public 

In The Ambassador of Christ"^ he also gave his own 
code for the effective preacher. He wrote thus for the 
guidance of priests : 

"First. In every sermon you deliver, have a definite 
object in view, such as the vindication of some special 
truth, the advocacy of some virtue, or the denunciation 
of some vice. Let every sentence in the discourse have 
some relation to the central idea, and help to illustrate 
and enforce it. 

"Second. Borrow as freely as possible your thoughts 
and even your expressions from the pages of Scripture, 
especially of the New Testament. 
Tp. 281-283. 


"Third. Master your subject to the best of your 
ability. Commit to memory at least the leading facts 
logically arranged. 

"Fourth. Be intensely earnest in the delivery of your 
discourse. Thus your hearers will be convinced that your 
heart is in your work. They will be in sympathy with 
you, they will catch your spirit, and will be warmed by 
the sacred flame issuing from your mouth. 

"The Gospel message conduces most to edification and 
spiritual profit when conveyed through the medium of 
direct and simple language. High-sounding phrases may 
tickle the ear, and gain admiration for the speaker, but 
they will not excite compunction of heart in the hearers. 
Affectation of style and manner, or straining for effect, 
makes a preacher unnatural and pedantic. It is a desecra- 
tion of the pulpit. 

"Plain speech that needs no effort to be understood 
is not only necessary for the masses, but is the most ac- 
ceptable even to cultivated minds. Men listen to sermons 
not for the sake of abstract information, but for religious 
and moral improvement. The true aim of a discourse 
is not so much to enlighten the mind as to move the heart, 
not so much to convince us of our duty as to impel us 
to fulfil it ; therefore, the appeals best calculated to rouse 
the conscience are straightforward and to the point, un- 
encumbered by ponderous phraseology. This is genuine 
eloquence, because it fulfils the legitimate end of preach- 
ing, namely, the spiritual progress of the hearers. 

"The most sublime thoughts may be embodied in the 
plainest words. What is more elevated in sentiment 
than Paul's exhortation on charity, and yet what lan- 
guage is more clear and transparent than his? Any 
mental exertion required to follow the preacher and seize 
his thoughts is painful to the audience, and chilling to 
the spirit of devotion. Daniel Webster used to complain 
of this kind of discourses. It involved too severe a strain 


on the intellect to be in harmony with the spirit of wor- 
ship. In the House of God, he said that he wanted to 
meditate 'upon the simple verities, and the undoubted 
facts of religion,' and not on mere abstractions or specu- 

It is doubtful if the sermons of any other eminent 
preacher of recent times have been so plentifully inter- 
spersed with quotations from the Bible as those of Gib- 
bons. Indeed, considerable portions of his arguments 
were not infrequently phrased entirely in the language of 
Scripture. The Bible was his constant companion. 
Sometimes in gatherings where there were clergymen a 
copy would be desired and no one was able to produce it 
but he. He would take it out and read it at numerous 
intervals of the day, when the opportunity presented 
itself, and his gifts of memory enabled him to imprint 
large parts of it verbatim upon his mind. 

In a sermon on spiritual reading ^ he said that the 
Christian, in order to fight successfully the foes which 
assail him in the world, had need of strong religious disci- 
pline. The Bible was to the soldier of Christ what a 
manual of military tactics was to the soldier serving an 
earthly government. "The timely remembrance of an 
appropriate sentence of Holy Writ," he said, was "a 
tower of strength in the hour of temptation or despon- 
dency. But we cannot conjure up these pious phrases 
unless, we are familiar with the sacred text and it is only 
by habitual perusal of the word of God that we can 
familiarize ourselves with it." He continued: 

"When the demon of swelling pride and vain glory 

'Discourses and Sermons, pp. 143-154. 


assails you, let your battle-cry be the words of the royal 
prophet; 'Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy 
name give glory.' When the spirit of avarice haunts 
you, let your antidote be the saying of our Lord : 'What 
doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose 
his own soul?' When the demon of unhallowed desires 
endeavors to defile your soul, devoutly recall the words 
of Christ: 'Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall 
see God'; or the words of the Patriarch Joseph: 'How 
can I sin in the presence of my God I' When tempted 
with impatience on account of the loss of goods, health 
or relatives, say with Job : 'The Lord gave, the Lord hath 
taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' 

"It was thus our Savior acted when tempted by the 
devil, to teach us how to conduct ourselves in similar 
circumstances. When the demon tempted Him to glut- 
tony, our Lord answered by quoting an appropriate text 
of Holy Scripture : 'It is written, not on bread alone doth 
man live, but by every word that proceedeth from the 
mouth of God.' When the devil tried to persuade Him 
to perform an unnecessary miracle, by precipitating Him- 
self from the pinnacle of the temple, and thus to tempt 
the Providence of God, Christ answered in the words of 
Holy Writ: 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.' 
And when prompted to vainglory, He again replied: 
'Begone, Satan, for it is written: The Lord thy God 
shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.' 

"The Word of God is the most fearless preacher you 
can listen to. Your most intimate friend will hesitate to 
remind you of your faults, from a sense of delicacy and 
from fear of being considered over censorious. Even the 
ministers of God, though they are commanded by the 
Holy Ghost to preach the word, to reprove, entreat and 
rebuke with authority, are cautious not to lay bare the 
diseases of the soul in their naked deformity, from a 
dread of suggesting evil thoughts to the innocent, or of 


giving personal offense to the guilty, or of shocking the 
sensibilities of their hearers generally. But the inspired 
volume is never ashamed to tell us the plain, unvarnished 
truth, for people can never suspect its authors of being 

"Moreover, you cannot usually hear the living voice 
of a preacher more than once or twice a week. His words 
pass away, but the written word remains. You have 
always the Sacred Book at your call. You can ponder 
again over a page which has impressed you, and you can 
imprint it on your heart and memory." 

In a sermon on prayer * he spoke with the widest Chris- 
tian brotherhood to all, saying: 

"Humble and earnest prayer (for this is the only 
sort of prayer worth considering) is a source of light to 
the mind, of comfort to the heart, and of strength to the 
will. By prayer we ascend like Moses to the holy moun- 
tain. There God removes the scales from our eyes. He 
dispels the clouds of passion, of prejudice, or of igno- 
rance that enveloped us. He enlarges our mental vision. 
He sheds a flood of light upon us that enables us to see 
things as they really are. 

"Standing on that mountain, we see the shortness of 
time, and how it passes like a shadow, and we see the 
immeasurable length of eternity. We are penetrated 
with a sense of the greatness of God alone, and the little- 
ness of man, or if we perceive anything attractive in 
him, it is because he is shining with borrowed light. We 
observe how paltry and trifling are all things earthly, 
since they are passing away, and like the beloved John, 
we get a glimpse of the heavenly Jerusalem. 

"Outside of prayer, indeed, we acknowledge these 
truths; but it is only in prayer that we fully realize them 

* Discourses and Sermons, pp. 241-250. 


and relish them, and that the words of the Apostle are 
brought home to us : 'We have not here a lasting city, but 
we seek one that is to come.' 

"Prayer ... is a sovereign remedy against dejection 
of spirits: 'Is anyone sad among you, let him pray,' says 
the Apostle. 

"How can we, as children, approach our heavenly 
Father, the Father of mercies and the God of all con- 
solation, without feeling a sense of security and con- 
fidence! How can we draw near to Jesus Christ, the 
Sun of Justice, without experiencing the warmth of His 
heavenly rays ! How can we fervently pray to the Holy 
Spirit, who is called the Paraclete or Comforter, without 
having our hearts dilated and enlarged? 

"What is the chief cause of our unrest? Is it not our 
excessive anxiety about our temporal affairs'? Now in 
prayer, God gives us grace not only to restrain our in- 
ordinate ambition, but even to curb and moderate our 
laudable desires. Those earthly things that we so eagerly 
crave appear small and trifling when weighed in the 
scales of the sanctuary, and the sufferings we endure 
seem short and momentary when measured by the 
standard of eternity. 

"We are told in the Gospel that while Jesus was pray- 
ing in the garden of Gethsemani, 'there appeared to Him 
an angel strengthening Him.' What a striking symbol 
was this heavenly messenger of the angel of consolation 
whom the Lord sends to us in prayer to sweeten the bitter 
chalice which He puts to our lips! 

"In communion with God, our will is endowed with 
fresh energy and our heart is strengthened to bear the 
adversities of life. The man of prayer can say with 
the Apostle: 'I can do all things in Him that strength- 
eneth me.' " 

Divine clemency was a favorite theme of Gibbons. 


In a sermon on the subject "This man receiveth sinners" 
he said : ® 

"How immense is the distance between God's treat- 
ment of a repentant sinner and man's conduct towards 
an offending brother I And how consoling is the thought 
that in the all-important affair of salvation, sinners have 
to deal, not with an earthly tribunal where, in the name 
of justice, the culprit is often overwhelmed with pas- 
sionate denunciations, but that they are presented before 
a heavenly Judge, who has all the clemency and mag- 
nanimity of a God. 

"In order to obtain forgiveness from the Almighty, 
and to be restored to the liberty and privileges of the 
children of God; in order to be reinstated as citizens of 
Heaven and heirs of His eternal kingdom, you are not 
first subjected to an indefinite period of probation to test 
your sincerity. You are not habitually taunted for your 
past offences. The only condition of pardon that God 
requires is a contrite heart, sincerely repentant of past 

"If you can say with the sorrow of David: T have 
sinned against the Lord,' quicker than the lightning from 
heaven does God send you a full pardon in these words : 
'The Lord also hath taken away thy sin. Thou shalt not 
die,' O I well may we exclaim with the royal prophet, 
when he was offered a choice of punishment from God 
or from men: 'It is better that I should fall into the 
hands of the Lord (for His mercies are many) than into 
the hands of men.' " 

In a sermon on "What is a Saint*?" he emphasized a 
point upon which he often dwelt, that the obstacles to 
the Christian life are exaggerated in the minds of many. 
He said: ^ 

"Discourses and Sermons, pp. 312-321. 
"^Retrospect of Fifty Years, Vol. II, pp. 249-261. 


"There are some who imagine that a Saint is one of 
whom we read in ancient history and who belongs to an 
almost extinct species, some ante-diluvian who flourished 
like the giants of former ages, or King Arthur's Knights 
of the Round Table, but whose race is well-nigh run out, 
and whose place is now rarely found on earth. 

"No, thank God, the generation of Saints is not ex- 
tinct. They exist in our day. They are to be found in 
this city and under our own eyes. They are in every 
congregation of Baltimore. They sanctify their homes 
by the integrity of their character and by their domestic 
virtues. 'Their lives are hidden with Christ in God.' 

"And these noble spirits are as unconscious of their 
increase in holiness, as they are of their physical growth; 
this is all the better for them. It is only when they begin 
to view themselves with complacency, and to have an 
exalted opinion of themselves that they take a step back- 
ward, and are in danger of imitating the Pharisee who 
boasted that he was not like the rest of men. 

"There are others again who entertain the notion that 
to be Saints persons must spend half their time in prayer, 
the other half in corporal mortification. This mode of 
life would suit very well a holy anchoret, or women like 
the devout Anna, 'who departed not from the temple, but 
by fastings and prayers worshipped night and day.' 
But it would not befit the bulk of Christians whose daily 
life is devoted to secular and domestic pursuits, for these 
duties cannot be omitted without violating conscience 
and deranging the good order of society or of the family. 

"A man who would spend in church the time which 
should be consecrated to his business affairs would be 
apt to bring religious exercises into disrepute by per- 
forming them out of due season. It is true indeed that 
Mary, who was given to contemplation, is praised by the 
Master for having chosen the better part, but it is equally 
true that her sister Martha, who was occupied in house- 


hold affairs, had a share in the esteem and benefaction 
of our Lord. 

"There are others who picture to themselves a Saint 
as an individual of a sad or gloomy disposition, of a 
melancholy and dejected aspect like the knight of the sor- 
rowful figure. Our Saviour gives us a different view of 
a servant of God. He tells us that even in our penitential 
acts we should maintain a cheerful demeanor. 'When 
ye fast,' he says, 'be not like the hypocrites sad, for they 
disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to 
fast. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and 
wash thy face, that thou appear not to men to fast but 
to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth 
in secret will repay thee.' 

"The Saints are conspicuous for habitual cheerfulness, 
because they have an upright conscience, and cheerful- 
ness is the fruition of a good conscience, or of a soul at 
peace with God and men. 

"What then is a Saint? A Saint is one who keeps 
the commandments of God and the precepts of the 
Church, and discharges with fidelity the duties of his 
state of life. Another characteristic of a Saint is that he 
bears with Christian fortitude and patience the trials of 
life, whether imposed on him by the inscrutable visita- 
tions of Providence, or inflicted by the malice of man, 
or resulting from the infirmities of his nature." 

His unfailing belief in a personal Providence was thus 
expressed in a sermon upon that subject:^ 

"How delightful the assurance that no injury can pos- 
sibly befall you against the will of Him whom no power 
can resist: that God will make the very malice of your 
enemies to serve as instruments to exalt and glorify you, 
and that your momentary discomfitures will be so many 

''Discourses and Sermons, pp. 346-355. 


stepping-stones to your final victory. Tor, we know that 
to them that love God all things work together unto good, 
to such as according to His purpose are called to be 
saints.' And in order to be assured of God's providential 
protection, the only condition required is that you rebel 
not against His holy will, but heartily abandon yourself 
to His good pleasure and faithfully observe His law. 

"I appeal, my dear brethren, to your own experience. 
Review your past lives. Examine the chain of incidents 
in the light of faith, and are you not forced to admit 
that those vicissitudes of health and sickness, those alter- 
nations of joy and sorrow, of prosperity and adversity, 
were but the handmaids of Providence, the frowns and 
caresses of a loving Father leading you on to your desti- 
nation*? And thus the testimony of your own observa- 
tion confirms the voice of revelation, saying that 'to them 
that love God, all things work together unto good.' 

"Let me now refer to a popular objection against 
a personal Providence. Honor, riches and health, you 
will say, are gifts of God. Why, then, do the wicked so 
frequently possess them in abundance, while the righteous 
are so often afflicted by contempt, poverty and suffering^ 
Why is the innocent Abel slain, while the fratricide, 
Cain, is allowed to roam the earth? Why is the impious 
Achab dwelling in an ivory palace, while Elias is hunted 
like a criminal *? Why is Herod exalted on a throne, and 
John is immured in a dungeon? Why is Nero ruling an 
empire, while Paul is languishing in chains'? Is it not 
reasonable to expect that the great Disposer of events 
should show partiality to His friends rather than to His 

"To this objection I will answer that, to judge 
adequately of God's Providence towards us, we must not 
restrict ourselves to a partial or one-sided view of man's 
destiny, but we must contemplate him in the whole cycle 
of his existence. We cannot judge of the success of a 


race until the contestants reach the goal. We must re- 
member that man's soul is immortal, that his duration 
will be eternal, and that the day of final reckoning will 
come only at the termination of the present life. Why, 
then, impeach the justice of our Creator if He permits the 
impious to prosper for a time, and defers rewarding His 
servants until the close of their earthly pilgrimage*? 'One 
day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand 
years as one day.' And what are even a thousand years 
in comparison with eternity^" 

Gibbons' habitual cheerfulness, even joyousness in per- 
sonal demeanor, whether exhibited to President, King or 
gamin, was based upon inward faith. In a sermon upon 
"Why we should rejoice" he said: ^ 

"A joyous disposition amid the vicissitudes of daily 
life, I regard as the highest form of Christian philosophy. 
The cheerfulness which I have in mind is the fruit of 
innocence and charity, and therefore to enjoy this gift 
we must have a pure heart before God, and the milk of 
human kindness for our fellow-beings. 

"This cheerfulness does not consist in fitful transports, 
but in an habitual serenity of mind. It does not usually 
explode in loud laughter and boisterous mirth. It is not 
a sudden flash which is rapidly extinguished. It is rather 
a steady flame flowing from a heart that is filled with the 
fire of the Holy Ghost. 

"The cheerful man is not much disturbed by the 
changes and accidents of daily life. He rides upon the 
storm. He rises superior to adversity. He is borne on 
the wings of hope and love. But the man of a gloomy 
and fretful temperament is oppressed by the burden oi 
life, and sinks under it. 

"The cheerful man not only has sunshine in his own 
heart, but he diffuses it around him. When he enters a 

''Discourses and Sermons, pp. 23-32. 


room, the company feel the warmth of his presence, and 
their hearts expand with pleasure. He exercises on their 
spirits the same influence that the electric lights, when 
they are turned on in this Cathedral, produce upon your 
senses. The gloomy man, on the contrary, repels them, 
and casts a dark shadow over them. 

"O my brethren, what is wealth or honor to man! 
What is a kingdom to him, if the kingdom of his soul 
is dark and desolate, and overshadowed by the clouds of 
sadness and despair I . . . 

"And now let me offer you in conclusion a few prac- 
tical suggestions. First of all, endeavor to establish the 
reign of joy and sunshine in your own heart. To accom- 
plish this blessed result, three conditions are necessary. 
First. You must have a pure and upright conscience 
before God. Second. You must maintain an habitual 
spirit of benevolence towards your fellowman; for you 
can not have serenity in your heart so long as it is 
clouded by resentment towards your neighbor. Third. 
Keep yourself free from inordinate attachment to any- 
thing earthly. . . . Once you have planted the blessings 
of joy within you, let its beams radiate throughout your 

A discourse in the Baltimore Cathedral on "Solicitude 
of Mind" was an illustration of the practical helpfulness 
which Gibbons sought to bestow in most of his sermons. 
He said : ^ 

"I do not pretend to read your thoughts, my brethren, 
but I venture to say that there is scarcely a member of 
the congregation before me who is not agitated by some 
vain hope or fear. Each of you has his daily round of 
cares, which flow and ebb like the tide. As soon as one 
care subsides another rises in your breast in endless suc- 

" Diso curse and Sermons, pp. 418-426. 


"Those of you who are more favored in your temporal 
condition may be preoccupied by the rise and fall in 
stocks and bonds and the fluctuations in the market. 
Those of you who are in more modest circumstances are 
solicitous about your future wants for the decent sup- 
port of life. Others are anxious about the result of a law- 
suit, or of some impending event, on the issue of which 
you imagine your future happiness depends. Some of 
you, again, are fretful and uneasy regarding your own 
health, or about the recovery of a sick friend or of a 
member of your household. 

"Now, the religion of Christ, which was established to 
prepare us for bliss in the world to come, contributes at 
the same time to our happiness in this life, as far as it can 
be attained in our present condition. And as cares and 
solicitudes are a bar to peace and tranquillity, our Lord 
suggests to us by His inspired writers and by His own 
voice the motives and means of banishing those cares, or 
of lessening their hurtful influence and of lightening their 
burden. If Christ will not subdue the storm that assails 
us He will at least help us to ride upon the waves of ad- 
versity, as He enabled Peter to walk upon the sea of 

"St. Paul says: 'Be not solicitous about anything 
(observe that he makes no exception of any cause whatso- 
ever), but by prayer and supplication let your petitions 
be made known to God.' Instead of consuming ourselves 
with vain fears, he exhorts us to lift up our hearts to 
Heaven for light and strength. 

"St. Peter expresses the same thought in these few but 
touching words: 'Cast your care upon the Lord, for He 
will sustain you.' Deposit the bundle of your solicitudes 
in the arms of your Heavenly Father. He will dispose of 

" 'Which of you,' says our Lord, 'by thinking, can add 
to his stature one cubit?' What good will all this fretful- 


ness and gnawing care do you*? It will not add one inch 
to your height, or one ounce to your weight, or one cent 
to your wealth, or one jot to your happiness, or one day 
to your span of life. That excessive anxiety to which 
you yield weakens the intellect, dissipates the energies 
of the will and incapacitates you for the due performance 
of your duties, while an abiding trust in God enables you 
to work with a concentrated mind and a hearty good will. 

"You believe in the existence of a superintending 
Power that watches over the affairs of men and of na- 
tions. You know that the same Divine Wisdom that 
numbers and names the stars of the firmament counts 
the very hairs of your head. You know that the same 
Omnipotent God, who supports and nourishes the angels 
in Heaven, feeds also the worms of the earth. 

"The upshot of Christ's teaching is this: You should 
be active and industrious without excessive solicitude, 
diligent and laborious without anxiety. Labor today as 
if all depended upon your own right arm and brain; 
trust tomorrow as if all depended upon the Providence of 
God. Use today, for it is yours; trouble not yourselves 
about the morrow, for it belongs to God ; it is still in the 
womb of futurity and may never be bom to you. 

" 'Be not solicitous for tomorrow, for tomorrow will 
be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil 
thereof.' Do not derange the order of Divine Providence 
by superadding to the cares of today the solicitudes of 
tomorrow, which are often imaginary or magnified by the 
imagination. Like a skilful general, concentrate your 
powers on the formidable enemy that confronts you now. 
Do not scatter your forces by striving at the same time 
to encounter an enemy yet afar off, who may never 
approach you. 

"Endeavor to pass through cares as it were without 
care. While it may be impossible to prevent the mists of 
perplexity and anxiety from hovering about the imagina- 


tion and clouding the senses, do not permit these vapors 
to ascend to the higher and more serene atmosphere where 
the soul is enthroned and communes in undisturbed peace 
with its Maker. 

"Remember that the moral Ruler of the world holds 
the reins of government, which He never surrenders. So 
long as He guides and controls the chariot that carries 
you and your fortunes, happen what will, you have 
nothing to fear, provided you put your trust in Him. 
'Hope in the Lord, and do good, and He will give you 
the desires of your heart.' 

"Be not solicitous about anything, but by prayer and 
supplication let your petitions be made known to God; 
and may the peace of God, which surpasseth all under- 
standing, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 

Gibbons gave his forecast of one aspect of the future 
life in a sermon preached in the Baltimore Cathedral on 
"Social and Domestic Joys of Heaven." As he looked 
back on the hundreds of discourses which he delivered 
from the pulpit, this had been one of his favorites. His 
text was John xiv. 2-3 : "In my Father's house there are 
many mansions: I go to prepare a place for you." 

Saying that the whole court of heaven was represented 
in the Bible as one family, God Himself being the Father 
of the household, he proceeded : ^^ 

"From this picture of heaven we see at once that the 
Saints will not live in a state of isolation or seclusion; 
they will not dwell apart, standing like statues on a ped- 
estal ; they will not be in a condition of mental abstrac- 
tion, so absorbed in the contemplation of God as to be 
unconscious of each other's presence : they will enjoy, on 

^Retrospect, Vol. II, pp. 262-278. 


the contrary, not only the vision of their Creator, but 
the happy society also of one another. 

"Man is by nature a social being. God has planted 
in his breast an irresistible desire to consort and converse 
with his fellow-man. And as Boethius remarks, our hap- 
piness is increased when we can share it with others. 
Indeed the most frightful punishment you can inflict on 
any one is to deprive him of all human fellowship, or to 
condemn him to solitary confinement. 

"Now in heaven the essential characteristics of our 
nature are not destroyed but preserved. Grace will not 
supplant nature. It will supplement and perfect it. And 
therefore man will remain in heaven as he is now on earth 
— a social being." 

"We are assured by the Scriptures and the writings of 
the fathers that the blessed will recognize one another in 
the City of God . . . and the particular affection they 
will have for their kindred and relatives will in no wise 
violate the law of universal charity, just as Christ's 
predilection for His mother, for the Apostles and the 
Baptist did not lessen in the slightest degree his love for 
the host of heaven. . . . Death shall not erase from 
your minds the memory of those with whom you were as- 
sociated here and who shared in your joys and sorrows on 
earth. ... It is repugnant to our religious sense that a 
devoted Christian family who were united here below 
would be separated in the life to come." 

The recollection of the occasional animosities that 
cloud life on earth, he declared, would not mar the 
peace of the family in the City of God, but "the memory 
of those estrangements will serve rather to augment your 
joys, because you will be conscious that these moral 
wounds have been healed by the blood of the Lamb, never 


to return." He dwelt upon the meetings of friends in the 
future life, saying: 

"How ineffable will be the delight of friends in heaven 
whose fellowships will meet with the approving smile of 
the great King, and who will have no fear of being ever 
separated by estrangement or death." 

While Gibbons shunned many of the devices of oratory, 
he rose not infrequently to heights in his sermons which 
produced the effect of masterful eloquence upon his 
hearers. His perorations were sometimes highly effective, 
especially in view of his delivery, the public speaker's 
summum bonum according to the precept of Demosthenes. 
Even in these, however, he clung to his general plan of 
clearness and simplicity, together with the conveyance of 
helpful meaning. The following passage at the close of 
one of his sermons, on "Descent of the Holy Ghost on the 
Apostles' " will serve as an illustration : ^^ 

"God of all consolation, who comfortest us in all our 
tribulations, let the light of Thy countenance shine upon 
us. Dispel from us all clouds of gloom and sadness. 
Give us Thy blessed peace, that triple peace which Thou 
didst bestow on Thy Apostles — peace with God, peace 
with our neighbor, peace with ourselves. Give us that 
peace of God which 'surpasseth all understanding,' 
which 'the world cannot give' ; that peace which will keep 
our hearts serene and tranquil amid the storms of life, so 
that we may rejoice with exceeding great joy in the midst 
of our tribulations. 

"Reign over every faculty of our soul. Reign over 
our mind, that we may daily meditate on Thy mercies. 

" Discourses and Sermons, p. 287. 


Reign over our will that we may ever love Thee. Reign 
over our memory that we may be mindful of Thy past 
favors. Reign over our imagination, and the whole range 
of our thoughts. Reign over us in time and in eternity." 

Another example of the same kind is the following 
from a sermon on "Reflections on Death" : ^^ 

"Why, then, should you have a morbid dread of death, 
soldiers of the Cross*? Let the infidel fear death, who 
hopes in his heart that there is no God. Let the obdurate 
sinner fear death, who offends the majesty of Heaven by 
his sins. Let the slave of lust and avarice fear death, 
which will be the end of his pleasures and the beginning 
of his miseries. . . . 

"But as for you, why should you dread death? Has 
not your Master said: 'O death, I will be thy death'?' 
Has He not conquered the king of terrors by His own 
death and glorious resurrection? Has He not demon- 
strated by word and example that death is not the termi- 
nation of your existence? Has He not lifted up the veil 
and given you an insight into that bright and boundless 
realm beyond the grave? Why should you fear to pass 
through the gate which leads to the regions of bliss 
eternal ? 

"With what delight does the prisoner hear the huge 
bolts of his dungeon door drawn aside, and listen to the 
messenger of the law reading the sentence of his deliver- 
ance I With what joy he bounds into the light of day 
and breathes the air of freedom and hastens to his father's 
home I And should you not rejoice in that day which will 
release you from the prison of the body, reveal to you 
the light of Heaven, restore you to the glorious liberty 
of the children of God, and enable you to enter the home 
of your eternal Father?" 

^Discourses and Sermons, pp. 435-36. 


Gibbons the reader sits in his study in the archiepis- 
copal residence in Baltimore. He has just finished his 
frugal dinner. It is seven o'clock or a little later. The 
work of the day is over. He wears his gray dressing 
gown, reaching almost to his feet. Upon his head is th« 
red zuchetto or skull cap which a Cardinal always wears. 
He smokes his second cigar of the day — his only sem- 
blance of luxury. It is far from being a costly cigar. 
Wealthy friends have begged him until they are wearied 
to permit them to supply him always with the finest 
Havanas made to his order, but he refuses. He will use 
in works of benevolence the money which such cigars rep- 
resent, if they wish, but will never smoke luxurious cigars. 

He has drawn up to his desk a cane seat armchair with- 
out rockers, containing a leather cushion, and sits half- 
crouched in it, his eyes peering intently at the pages of 
the book which he is reading. Sometimes he puts another 
chair in front of him and elevates his slippered feet upon 
it for comfort. 

Upon his desk is a "student's lamp," burning oil, of a 

type familiar in his younger days before the development 

of the better types of gas and electric lamps. It emits a 

good light and he will have no other. Here again wealthy 



friends have attempted to interpose, but in vain. One 
of them, after many efforts, obtained permission to equip 
the house with electric lights and even put an excellent 
light of that kind on the Cardinal's desk, but after a fe>y 
days he discarded it and resumed the use of the old oil 

Upon the top of the desk, surmounting it, is a large 
crucifix. The papers upon the desk and in its pigeon 
holes are in fairly good order, for the Cardinal is dis- 
posed to be neat and systematic in such things. Around 
the walls are crowded bookshelves, and there are more 
books in his simple bedroom adjoining. These are the 
Cardinal's favorites. The main archiepiscopal library is 
downstairs, in a wing of the house especially built for it, 
but the Cardinal always reads in his study. In his own 
special collection the Bible, in various languages and edi- 
tions, holds first place. 

Thus the Cardinal appeared while enjoying his nightly 
diversion and thus his friends saw him in a long period 
of years. From seven to nine o'clock every evening he 
was accustomed to read constantly, unless interrupted by 
one of the few intimates who had access to his studj. 
Some of these were Bishops; others priests; still others 
Catholic laymen; and they also included Protestants and 
Jews. The personal tie was the one that prevailed in 
these cases. 

The Cardinal read fast. His extraordinary memory 
enabled him to retain everything that he wished to retain 
from the pages, even though his eyes raced along the lines. 
He possessed the faculty almost of reading by sentences, 
groups of sentences or even pages. One glance did much. 


His powers of perception were perhaps unsurpassed by 
those of any man of his time; persons who observed this 
phenomenon in him — for it was a phenomenon — were 
ready to say that they were unequaled. In his long life 
his range of reading packed his mind like a great store 
house with an immense variety of exact information. 

He read for style as well as facts. The Cardinal en- 
joyed style. His taste in this respect was that of an 
English purist, and his standards were the best classical 
models of the language which he spoke in daily life. In 
America, he believed, there was too much haste in the 
production of literature, but many English writers took 
more time and turned out more artistic products. He 
liked the smooth, flowing sentence, a combination of sim- 
plicity, strength and grace. 

His range was the very widest among good books. 
He kept up at all times with publications relating to the 
Catholic Church and the subject of religion generally, 
including theology, philosophy. Church history and biog- 
raphy. Outside of books relating to the ecclesiastical life, 
his favorite reading was history, especially that of the 
United States. He read all of the great works on that 
subject, and many that were not great. Now and then 
he would reread a historical book which especially fas- 
cinated him. American constitutional history was one of 
his favorite subjects of research and meditation. He 
liked to trace and retrace the processes of historical evolu- 
tion and of mature thought by which the American con- 
stitution was framed. It was his model for a civil gov- 
ernment. He agreed with Hamilton and Madison in 
their pleas in the Federalist papers, and regarded these 


pleas as applicable in his own time. In the fields of 
American history and civics his range of reading was 
without limit. 

Now and then he read a novel to divert his mind from 
the absorbing experiences of the day. Any novel that was 
wholesome, and, preferably had a touch of elegance of 
style, was acceptable to him. The dramatic action stim- 
ulated his interest keenly, for there was abundant zest in 
everything that he did. 

He was more than ordinarily fond of novels dealing 
in whole or in part with religious subjects, such as "The 
Garden of Allah." The works of Anthony Trollope, 
A. Conan Doyle and F. Marion Crawford he also found 
particularly attractive. He read considerably in Latin 
and Greek, being fond of Cicero, Horace and Homer. 
One of his favorite works, much of the philosophy of 
which he illustrated in his own person, was De Senectute. 
Works in French occupied much space in his library and 
he read them with facility. 

Poetry fascinated him. He liked Pope, Dry den, Gold- 
smith and Moore, and rambled widely in his excursions of 
reading among both the English and American schools of 

All books of low standard he barred rigorously. He 
would not read them merely to understand their type of 
literature or the type of life which they portrayed. In 
him they excited only aversion. In a sermon on "Spirit- 
ual Reading" he once laid down these precepts : ^ 

"Rigidly exclude from your household all books and 
pamphlets which are hostile to religion and good morals. 

^Discourses and Sermons, p. 249. 


Never admit into your homes any newspaper or periodical 
which ventilates obscene news or licentious scandals. 
You are careful to avoid any dish which you know from 
experience would nauseate your stomach, no matter how 
tempting and palatable it may be to the taste. Why 
then should you not discard those highly-seasoned novels 
which may be agreeable to a morbid appetite, but which 
defile the imagination and enfeeble the soul^" 

Magazines and newspapers whose general tone com- 
mended itself to him he read with avidity. He was al- 
ways keen to keep up with contemporary events and 
thought. English and French magazines in much variety 
were especially included in his range. Few men were 
better informed on current events. He had a penetrat- 
ing power of interpreting accurately what he read. 

Authorship naturally had a powerful appeal to one 
who wandered so much in literary fields, yet he tempered 
this impulse, as all others, to the cause of religion. His 
first and most successful book, The Faith of Our Fathers, 
was produced as a direct result of missionary zeal alone. 
This appeared in 1876; his second book Our Christian 
Heritage^ in 1889; the third. The Ambassador of Christ, 
in 1896; the fourth, Discourses and Sermons, in 1908; 
and the fifth and last, A Retrospect of Fifty Years, in 

He wrote his books rapidly and, indeed, wrote letters 
rapidly also, for his habit was to think over in advance 
what he had to say and when he was ready to use the pen 
his ideas flowed much faster than his hand could move. 
Sometimes he made notes when his thoughts called for 
expression so fast that there was danger of losing them 


from the slowness of the pen, and then he would elaborate 
the notes afterward. 

"The great thing as to style," he once remarked in 
speaking of his methods in writing books, "is to have 
something to say. Words will come at the pressure of an 

His aim was always at simplicity of style. "That is 
the most difficult," he used to observe. 

He wrote in a small, regular hand, erasing little. The 
typewriter's development came too late in his life to be of 
direct personal use to him. Most of his books were com- 
posed in a comparatively short time. This was necessa- 
rily the case in such a crowded life. 

Gibbons was diverted into productive literature by his 
experiences in North Carolina, the fountain of so many 
of his aspirations, policies and accomplishments. Kindly 
Protestant gentle folk of that State who welcomed him 
to their homes when he was engaged in missionary jour- 
neys over his vicariate, because there was often no Cath- 
olic in a whole town whose guest he might be, were no 
less ready to proffer their hospitality than to present to 
him frankly their often distorted views of the faith 
which he had come to spread. While, of course, courtesy 
forbade them to obtrude the subject when there was 
no occasion for it, all the circumstances of his mis- 
sion there tended to bring clearly before him the mis- 
understandings of the Catholic Church which had accu- 
mulated through the years when she was unknown to 
the mass of North Carolinians by direct contact. Force 
of circumstances caused him to learn the viewpoint of the 


majority of those among whom his lot was cast at that 
stage of his life. 

Sometimes preaching in a community where the Catho- 
lic religion was unknown, perhaps from the pulpit of a 
Protestant church, which he did not hesitate to use when 
occasion offered no other means, he undertook to answer 
the objections developed by his observations in the com- 
munity where he happened to be. An impression which 
was at least temporary was thus produced in such cases, 
but when he returned to the same locality after a time, 
he found the impression weakened, and the idea of sup- 
plementing his sermons by a printed treatise thus occurred 
to him. 

The thought, once planted in his mind, began to take 
deep root. While visiting Father Gross, his faithful col- 
laborator in Wilmington, in the spring of 1876, he sug- 
gested that the priest prepare such a treatise. Father 
Gross replied: 

"Bishop, why don't you write it^" 

Inspiration flashed at once, and the Bishop replied : 

"While the spirit is in me, give me paper and ink, and 
I will jot down the first chapter." 

That chapter has exercised a profound influence upon 
the spiritual lives of an immense host, for it was and is 
the keynote of The Faith of Our Fathers, of which Gib- 
bons lived to see two million copies sold. It has served 
to clear the way for missionary effort in distant dioceses 
throughout the world, even the names of which he did 
not know when he was composing its appealing pages. 
He chose at the outset of the work thus begun under the 


simple urging of Father Gross to employ dialogue for the 
sake of clearness, citing as an illustration a conversation 
between a Protestant minister and a convert to the 
Catholic Church, of which the following are extracts : 

"Minister. — You cannot deny that the Roman Catho- 
lic Church teaches gross errors — the worship of images, 
for instance. 

"Convert. — I admit no such charge, for I have been 
taught no such doctrines. 

"Minister. — But the priest who instructed you did 
not teach you all. He held back some points which he 
knew would be objectionable to you. 

"Convert. — He withheld nothing; for I am in posses- 
sion of books treating fully of all Catholic doctrines. 

"Minister. — Deluded soul ! Don't you know that in 
Europe they are taught differently"? 

"Convert. — That cannot be, for the Church teaches 
the same creed all over the world, and most of the doc- 
trinal books which I read were originally published in 

The text proceeds: 

"We cannot exaggerate the offense of those who thus 
wilfully malign the Church. There is a commandment 
which says: 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against 
thy neighbor.' 

"If it is a sin to bear false testimony against one in- 
dividual, how can we characterize the crime of those who 
calumniate three hundred millions of human beings, by 
attributing to them doctrines and practises which they 
repudiate and abhor "? I do not wonder that the Church is 
hated by those who learn what she is from her enemies. 
It is natural for an honest man to loathe an institution 
whose history he believes to be marked by bloodshed, 
crime and fraud. 


"Had I been educated as they were, and surrounded 
by an atmosphere hostile to the Church, perhaps I should 
be unfortunate enough to be breathing vengeance against 
her today, instead of consecrating my life to her defence. 

"It is not of their hostility that I complain, but be- 
cause the judgment they have formed of her is based upon 
the reckless assertions of her enemies, and not upon those 
of impartial witnesses. 

"Suppose that I wanted to obtain a correct estimate 
of the Southern people, would it be fair in me to select, 
as my only sources of information, certain Northern and 
Eastern periodicals which, during our Civil War, were 
bitterly opposed to the race and institutions of the South? 
Those papers have represented you as men who always 
appeal to the sword and pistol, instead of the law, to vin- 
dicate your private grievances. They heaped accusations 
against you which I will not here repeat. Instead of 
taking these publications as the basis of my information, 
it was my duty to come among you ; to live with you ; to 
read your life by studying your public and private char- 
acter. This I have done, and I here cheerfully bear wit- 
ness to your many excellent traits of mind and heart. 

"Now I ask you to give to the Catholic Church the 
same measure of fairness which you reasonably demand 
of me when judging of Southern character. Ask not her 
enemies what she is, for they are blinded by passion; ask 
not her ungrateful, renegade children, for you never 
heard a son speaking well of the mother whom he had 
abandoned and despised. 

"Study her history in the pages of truth. Examine 
her creed. Read her authorized catechisms and doctrinal 
books. You will find them everywhere on the shelves of 
booksellers, in the libraries of her clergy, on the tables of 
Catholic families. 

"There is no freemasonry in the Catholic Church; she 
has no secrets to keep back. She has not one set of doc- 


trines for Bishops and priests, and another for the laity. 
She has not one creed for the initiated and another for 
outsiders. Everything in the Catholic Church is open 
and above board. She has the same doctrines for all — 
for the Pope and the peasant. 

"Should not I be better qualified to present to you the 
Church's creed than the unfriendly witnesses whom I 
have mentioned ■? . . . 

"It is to me a duty and a labor of love to speak the 
truth concerning my venerable Mother, so much maligned 
in our days. Were a tithe of the accusations which are 
brought against her true, I would not be attached to her 
ministry, nor even to her communion, for a single day. I 
know these charges to be false. The longer I know her, 
the more I admire and venerate her. Every day she de- 
velops before me new spiritual charms. 

"In coming to the Church, you are not entering a 
strange place, but you are returning to your Father's 
home. The house and furniture may look odd to you, 
but it is just the same as your forefathers left it three 
hundred years ago. In coming back to the Church, you 
worship where your fathers worshiped before you, you 
kneel before the altar at which they knelt, you receive 
the Sacraments which they received, and respect the 
authority of the clergy whom they venerated." 

The preparation of subsequent chapters of the book 
was crowded into the indefatigable young Bishop's labors. 
He meditated upon them when traveling on railway cars 
or by other means, and confirmed upon his return the 
abundant quotations and references from the Bible and 
other books which he cited in confirmation of his state- 
ments. In clear, simple and classic English he thus wrote 
the principles of the Catholic religion, while replying in 
detail to the arguments commonly urged against it. 


No religious controversial book — if such it may be 
called — was ever conceived in a broader spirit. It leaves 
no sting with the reader, whatever be its convictions, and 
as a concise explanation of the Church, her history, doc- 
trines and mission, there is practically unanimous judg- 
ment that it has never had an equal. One may put down 
the book and say "I disagree," but never "I do not under- 

Its literary strength gave it a permanent place in the 
libraries of the world almost immediately after its publi- 
cation, late in 1876; priests found that it said what they 
wanted to say, better than they could say it themselves, 
and its circulation in great numbers of copies has ever 
since been a favorite means of reinforcing the efforts of 
the clergy. The work has been translated into twelve 
languages. It is probably true. Bishop Shahan has said, 
that, after the Bible, no religious book has had so wide a 

In particular, the author defended with warmth the 
assertion that the Catholic Church has always been a 
zealous promoter of religious and civil liberty. Wherever 
encroachments on these rights of man were perpetrated 
by individual adherents to her faith, he argued, the 
wrongs, far from being sanctioned by the Church, were 
committed in palpable violation of her authority. He 
brought out the old arguments about the Spanish in- 
quisition and the massacre of St. Bartholemew, of which 
he had heard not a little in North Carolina, and discussed 
them fully from the Catholic point of view. 

Taking up the leading doctrines of the Church, he 
gave a simple but sufficient explanation of each, dealing 


successively with the Trinity, the incarnation, unity of 
the Church, apostolicity, perpetuity, authority, the 
primacy of Peter, the supremacy of the Popes, the tem- 
poral power, invocation of saints, the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, sacred images, purgatory, prayers for the dead, 
charges of religious persecution, the Holy Eucharist, the 
sacrifice of the Mass, the use of religious ceremonies and 
the Latin language, penance, indulgence and extreme 

The broad charity which shines through the pages of 
the book has been perhaps as potent as its logic in carry- 
ing conviction to the minds of hundreds of thousands of 
readers throughout the world. 

In composing The Faith of Our Fathers Gibbons, as 
related by himself, tried to be so clear and simple as to 
reach the feeblest intelligence, and at the same time suf- 
ficiently deep and thorough to reach the highest. As he 
proceeded with the difficult task, he scratched out with 
his pen long sentences or involved meanings and simpli- 
fied them. He was most careful to discard every line 
that seemed to have a sting in it. According to his own 
version in later years of his methods of composition, he 
said to himself in regard to a line of that kind when he 
would come to it: "This may create a smile, but it has 
no place in a permanent work." 

He submitted the manuscript to several critics before 
publication. This, in his view, implied an obligation 
to follow their advice and he did so; but he subsequently 
expressed the opmion that the changes had not strength- 
ened the book ; probably indeed, although he did not say 
so in direct terms, he thought that they weakened it con- 


siderably. Late in life he expressed the view that a spe- 
cial Providence had guided him in the preparation of the 

The book was published in Baltimore, a comparatively 
small edition being issued, as in the boldest hopes enter- 
Itained for its success there was no thought of the world- 
wide vogue destined for it. Gibbons subsequently said 
that an edition of five thousand copies was the "ultima 
thule" of his expectations then. No one was more sur- 
prised than he when the first edition was exhausted 
rapidly, after the manner of a popular novel. One im- 
print after another was made in increasing quantities, 
until the popularity which the work attained came to be 
accepted as a baffling mystery both by the author and 
his personal friend, the publisher, who was sometimes 
at a loss to supply the eager demand. 

As the sales leaped from units into thousands at a time, 
Gibbons found pleasure in the reports that were made to 
him of the additional copies sold, and seemed to have the 
figures at his fingers' ends. He remarked with elation 
to a friend who called upon him one evening in 1914 that 
.the sale of The Faith of Our Fathers had then surpassed 
that of Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

He was convinced of the necessity of the work, partic- 
ularly in English-speaking countries where the Catholic 
Church is compelled to contend constantly against miscon- 
ceptions of her doctrines and policies. The simplicity 
and clearness of the appeal, he felt, were essential to its 
potency. It was aimed especially to reach the average 
man who, through no fault of his own, had absorbed 
and retained current and often fanciful misrepresenta- 


tions on the subject. It did not occur to the modest 
Bishop that his simplicity of style was so limpid that hun- 
dreds of thousands, bewildered by the doubts of theolog- 
ical disputations, would turn to it with relief as solving 
their perplexities. 

The results reaped from the work were naturally one 
of the deepest of Gibbons' consolations. Chatting in his 
study one night when he was nearly eighty years old, he 
said that he had just received a letter from a friend who 
had been converted to the Catholic Church "by one of my 

''The Faith of Our Fathers?" the visitor suggested. 

"Yes," he replied. "By the way, I also have a letter 
from a friend in Italy who tells me of the great circula- 
tion which the book has attained in his country." 

"Was the writing of The Faith of Our Fathers an 
inspiration?" the visitor asked. 

"I am beginning to think that it was," mused the Car- 
dinal, "although I had no idea of it at the time. I wrote 
it rather reluctantly as a duty and not because I felt 
especial enthusiasm about it. Some book was necessary 
to correct the errors of possible converts and I believed 
that it would be a decided help to me in my work. When 
I took it to the publisher, John Murphy, he estimated its 
probable circulation at three thousand copies. I was the 
most surprised person of all over the demand for it that 
was found to exist. 

"Of all the things about the book, one point that grati- 
fies me most is that, although it is an explanation of the 
Catholic religion, there is not one word in it that can 
give offense to our Protestant brethren. There was orig- 
inally a reference that seemed to displease Episcopalians, 
but when my attention was called to it I promptly ordered 


it to be expunged. Had I written the book in Catholic 
Baltimore, I might have fallen into something of that 
kind. But in North Carolina, where opinion was almost 
unanimously against me, I was on my good behavior. It 
was fortunate that it was so." 

The popularity of the work and the use of copies of it 
in great numbers by Bishops and priests as a means of 
presenting the tenets of the Catholic faith naturally 
caused a multitude of suggestions to flow in upon the 
author. His disposition was to accept these suggestions, 
even when that involved the expansion of the book be- 
yond its original limits. In its inception it was intended 
only to set forth the main doctrines of the Church and to 
combat the chief errors regarding those doctrines which 
were commonly held. In this form the book was compact 
and unified and possessed an irresistible appeal of style. 

As suggestions were offered by others, Gibbons rewrote 
parts of some of the original chapters and inserted other 
chapters until the last edition considerably exceeded the 
limits which he had intended for the book at first. The 
effect was to make it a complete exposition of Catholic 
doctrine, as compared with a designedly incomplete one 
that had been intended only to combat major errors. The 
process of addition also involved a certain measure of 
dilution of the original literary style, and the book in its 
final form, while perhaps more useful for its general 
purpose, cannot be said to be an improvement on the first 
edition in literary strength and grace. 

Gibbons cared nothing for this. He seemed to be un- 
moved by vanity of authorship. As he changed the book 
from time to time, he believed that he was increasing the 


harvest of souls which would be reaped through its influ- 
ence, and this far overweighed any other consideration, 
personal or otherwise, which could have appealed to him. 

He devoted a great deal of time and thought to the 
preparation of Our Christian Heritage^ which was pub- 
lished at the time of the centennial of the American Hier- 
archy; and he dedicated it to the memory of Archbishop 
Carroll and the American prelates and clergy, "heirs of 
his faith and mission." In his first book he had been the 
priest preaching to the people; but from the pages of 
Our Christian Heritage shines the character of citizen as 
well as priest. 

It may be described in brief as an argument in behalf 
of Christianity addressed to the average busy man of the 
time accustomed to be guided by material considerations 
in his daily work, and doubting, from force of habit, con- 
clusions as to religion whose premises he can not clearly 
comprehend. Gibbons aimed to demonstrate by means 
of the unaided reason the fundamental truths underlying 
Christianity and he declared that this was sufficient, 
though "they are made still more luminous by the light 
of Christian revelation." The book is a compressed the- 
ology for a cross-section of general humanity. He was 
moved to write it, he said, because The Faith of Our 
Fathers presupposed certain truths — the existence of God, 
free will, and others — and he wished to show the basis 
of Christian belief in these doctrines. 

The author conceived Our Christian Heritage as non- 
sectarian and hoped that it would appeal to everybody. 
In the introduction to it, he set forth: 


(Extract jrom •■Our Cliristian Heritage") 

^„t-^ '^Tf^ ^iy*<.'<. 

, "? JJ- A^'--^^ f^'"'^ ^*^t -f....^^ 


"This book is not polemical. It does not deal with the 
controversies that have agitated the Christian world since 
the religious convulsion of the sixteenth century. It does 
not, therefore, aim at vindicating the claims of the Cath- 
olic Church as superior to those of the separated branches 
of Christianity — a subject that has already been ex- 
haustively treated. 

"It has nothing to say against any Christian denomina- 
tion that still retains faith in at least the Divine mission 
of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, I am glad to acknowl- 
edge that most of the topics discussed in this little volume 
have often found, and still find, able and zealous advo- 
cates in Protestant writers. And far from despising or 
rejecting their support, I would gladly hold out to them 
the right hand of fellowship, so long as they unite with 
us in striking at the common foe." 

Addressing those who rejected Christianity upon the 
ground of doubts of its physical evidence, he wrote: 

"While avowing their ignorance of many of the physi- 
cal laws that govern the universe and that regulate even 
their own bodies which they see and feel, they will insist 
on knowing everything regarding the incomprehensible 
Deity and His attributes. In a word, they will admit 
mysteries in the material world that surrounds them ; but 
mysteries in the supernatural world they will not accept. 
They will deny any revealed truth that does not fall 
within the range of human experience and that is not in 
accordance with the discovered laws of nature. But to 
reject a dogma on such grounds cannot be approved by 
philosophy or sound sense." 

Enumerating the fruits of Christian civilization, he 
contrasted them effectively with conditions among pagan 
peoples. He showed that Christianity has "delivered us 


from idolatry and led us to the worship of the one true 
and living God" ; that it has "brought not only light to 
our intellects, but also peace to our hearts, that peace 
which springs from the knowledge of the truth and the 
hope of eternal life" ; that Christ "has given benediction 
to the home by proclaiming the unity, the sanctity and 
the indissolubility of marriage" ; that hospitals and asy- 
lums, previously unknown, have sprung up in every Chris- 
tian land; that "human slavery has melted away before 
the effulgent rays of the Gospel"; that the dignity of 
labor has been proclaimed and that the number of wars 
has been diminished and their horrors have been reduced. 

The last part of Our Christian Heritage is an applica- 
tion of the general vindication of Christianity set forth 
in the first part. Chapters deal with the "Dignity, 
Rights and Duties of the Laboring Classes," "Religion, 
the Essential Basis of Civil Society," "The Religious 
Element in our American Civilization," and "The Dan- 
gers That Threaten our American Civilization." 

In the chapter on labor. Gibbons took another oppor- 
tunity to defend energetically the right of workingmen 
to organize "for their mutual protection and benefit." 
Defending this view, he wrote : 

"Labor has its sacred rights as well as its dignity. 
Paramount among the rights of the laboring classes, is 
their privilege to organize, or to form themselves into 
societies for their mutual protection and benefit. It is in 
accordance with natural right that those who have one 
common interest should unite together for its promotion. 
Our modern labor associations are the legitimate succes- 
sors of the ancient guilds of England. 

"In our days there is a universal tendency towards 


organization in every department of trade and business. 
In union there is strength in the physical, moral and social 
world; and just as the power and majesty of our Repub- 
lic are derived from the political union of the several 
States, so do men clearly perceive that the healthy com- 
bination of human forces in the economic world can 
accomplish results which could not be effected by any 
individual efforts. Throughout the United States and 
Great Britain there is to-day a continuous network of 
S3mdicates and trusts, of companies and partnerships, so 
that every operation from the construction of a leviathan 
steamship to the manufacture of a needle is controlled by 
a corporation. 

"When corporations thus combine, it is quite natural 
that mechanics and laborers should follow their example. 
It would be as unjust to deny to workingmen the right 
to band together because of the abuses incident to such 
combinations, as to withhold the same right from capital- 
ists because they sometimes unwarrantably seek to crush 
or absorb weaker rivals. 

"The public recognition among us of the right to or- 
ganize implies a confidence in the intelligence and hon- 
esty of the masses; it affords them an opportunity of 
training themselves in the school of self-government, and 
in the art of self-discipline; it takes away from them 
every excuse and pretext for the formation of dangerous 
societies; it exposes to the light of public scrutiny the 
constitution and laws of the association and the delibera- 
tions of the members; it inspires them with a sense of their 
responsibility as citizens and with a laudable desire of 
meriting the approval of their fellow-citizens. Tt is 
better,' as Matthew Arnold observes, 'that the body of 
the people with all its faults, should act for itself, and 
control its own affairs, than that it should be set aside 
as ignorant and incapable, and have its affairs managed 
for it by a so-called superior class.' " 


While defending the right of workingmen to organize, 
Gibbons did not neglect to add that they must banish 
extremists from their ranks, saying: 

"They should therefore be careful to exclude from 
their ranks that turbulent element composed of men who 
boldly preach the gospel of anarchy, socialism and nihil- 
ism; those land-pirates who are preying on the industry, 
commerce and trade of the country; whose mission is to 
pull down and not to build up ; who instead of upholding 
the hands of the government that protects them, are bent 
on its destruction, and instead of blessing the mother 
that opens her arms to welcome them, insult and defy 
her. If such revolutionists had their way, despotism 
would supplant legitimate authority, license would reign 
without liberty, and gaunt poverty would stalk through- 
out the land." 

He expressed his disapproval of boycotting and held 
that "experience has shown that strikes are a drastic and 
at best a very questionable remedy for the redress of the 
laborers' grievances. They paralyze industry; they often 
foment fierce passions, and lead to the destruction of 
property; and, above all, they result in inflicting grievous 
injury on the laborer himself by keeping him in enforced 
idleness, during which his mind is clouded by discontent 
while brooding over the situation, and his family not 
infrequently suffers from the want of even the necessaries 
of life." 

He presented an earnest plea for the arbitration of dis- 
putes between capital and labor, urging that it was "con- 
ciliatory and constructive" as distinguished from the ag- 
gression and destructiveness of strikes. 


He also warned labor that some forms of discontent 
were to be shunned. He wrote : 

"While honestly striving to better your condition, be 
content with your station in life, and do not yield to an 
inordinate desire of abandoning your present occupation 
for what is popularly regarded as a more attractive avoca- 
tion. Remember that while the learned professions are 
over-crowded, there is always a demand for skilled and 
unskilled labor, and that it is far better to succeed in 
mechanical or manual work, than to fail in professional 
life. Be not over eager to amass wealth, for they who 
are anxious to become rich, 'fall into temptations and 
into the snares of the Devil, and into many unprofitable 
and hurtful desires which drown men in destruction and 

"A feverish ambition to accumulate a fortune, which 
may be called our national distemper, is incompatible 
with peace of mind. Moderate means with a contented 
spirit are preferable to millions without it. If poverty 
has its inconveniences and miseries, wealth has often 
greater ones." 

Gibbons was expounding a favorite theme in his chap- 
ter on "Religion, the Essential Basis of Civil Society." 
He set forth that he was using the word religion 

"in its broadest and most comprehensive sense as embody- 
ing the existence of God, His infinite power and knowl- 
edge; His providence over us; the recognition of Divine 
law; the moral freedom and responsibility of man; the 
distinction between good and evil ; the duty of rendering 
our homage to God and justice and charity to our neigh- 
bor ; and finally the existence of a future state of rewards 
and punishments." 


The book proceeds: 

"What motives, religion apart, are forcible enough to 
compel legislators, rulers, and magistrates to be equitable 
and impartial in their decisions'? What guarantee have 
we that they will not be biased by prejudice and self- 
interest? Will a thirst for fame and a desire for public 
approbation prove a sufficient incentive for them to do 
right? How often has not this very love of glory and 
esteem impelled them to trample on the rights and lib- 
erties of the many, in order to win the approbation of a 
few sycophants, just as Roboam oppressed his subjects 
that he might be admired and praised by his young cour- 
tiers, and as Alexander enslaved nations to receive the 
applause of the fickle Athenians. 

"Would you vote for a presidential candidate that 
avowed atheistic principles'? I am sure you would not. 
You would instinctively mistrust him ; for an unbelieving 
President would ignore the eternal laws of justice, and 
the eternal laws of justice are the basis of civil legisla- 

"... Religion is anterior to society and more endur- 
ing than governments; it is the focus of all social virtues, 
the basis of public morals, the most powerful instrument 
in the hands of legislators ; it is stronger than self-interest, 
more awe-inspiring than civil threats, more universal than 
honor, more active than love of country, — the surest 
guarantee that rulers can have of the fidelity of their 
subjects, and that subjects can have of the justice of their 
rulers; it is the curb of the mighty, the defence of the 
weak, the consolation of the afflicted, the covenant of God 
with man; and, in the language of Homer, it is 'the golden 
chain which suspends the earth from the throne of the 
eternal.' " 

Gibbons pointed out in Our Christian Heritage that 
the Declaration of Independence contains a devout recog- 


nition of God and His overruling providence. "God's 
holy name," he wrote, "greets us in the opening para- 
graph and is piously invoked in the last sentence of the 
Declaration; and thus it is at the same time the corner- 
stone and the keystone of this great monument of free- 

As to the Federal Constitution, he felt no concern be- 
cause the name of God was not imprinted there, 

"so long as the constitution itself is interpreted by the 
light of Christian revelation. . . . Far better for the 
nation that His spirit should animate our laws; that He 
should be invoked in our courts of justice; that He should 
be worshiped in our citadels on Thanksgiving Day and 
that His guidance should be implored in the opening of 
our congressional proceedings." 

Washington's faith in God and his frequent references 
to the Supreme Being in his public addresses and state 
papers were cited by Gibbons in the same connection. 
He remarked that the oath taken by every President of 
the United States before he assumed the duties of office 
implies a belief in God. Gibbons added : 

"In one century we have grown from three millions to 
sixty millions.^ We have grown up, not as distinct, in- 
dependent and conflicting communities, but as one cor- 
porate body, breathing the same atmosphere of freedom, 
governed by the same laws, enjoying the same political 
rights. I see in all this a wonderful manifestation of the 
humanizing and elevating influence of Christian civiliza- 
tion. We receive from abroad people of various nations, 
races and tongues, habits and temperament, who speedily 
become assimilated to the human mass, and who form one 



homogeneous society. What is the secret of our social 
stability and order*? It results from wise laws, based on 
Christian principles, and which are the echo of God's 
eternal law. 

"What is the cohesive power that makes us one body 
politic out of so many heterogeneous elements'? It is the 
religion of Christ. We live as brothers because we recog- 
nize the brotherhood of humanity — one Father in heaven, 
one origin, one destiny." 

He enumerated the "dangers that threaten our Ameri- 
can civilization" (writing in the year 1889) as follows: 

"We are confronted by five great evils — Mormonism 
and divorce, which strike at the root of the family and 
society; an imperfect and vicious system of education, 
which undermines the religion of our youth ; the desecra- 
tion of the Christian Sabbath, which tends to obliterate in 
our adult population the salutary fear of God and the 
homage that we owe Him; the gross and systematic elec- 
tion frauds; and lastly the unreasonable delay in carrying 
into effect the sentences of our criminal courts, and the 
numerous subterfuges by which criminals evade the exe- 
cution of the law. Our insatiable greed for gain, the co- 
existence of colossal wealth with abject poverty, the ex- 
travagance of the rich, the discontent of the poor, our 
eager and impetuous rushing through life, and every other 
moral and social delinquency, may be traced to one of 
the five radical vices enumerated above." 

Mormonism in the aspects which once gave offense to 
the nation has been substantially modified since Our 
Christian Heritage was written, but the Cardinal's vigor- 
ous arguments and marshaling of statistics to show the 
evils of divorce were more needed at the time of his 
death even than when he penned the pages of the book. 


As to education, he expounded the Catholic view that 
religious instruction ought to go hand in hand with secu- 
lar instruction. He denied that the instruction given 
once a week in Sunday schools, "though productive of 
very beneficial results" was sufficient to supply the re- 
ligious wants of children. "By what principle of jus- 
tice," he asked, "can you store their minds with earthly 
knowledge for several hours each day, while their hearts, 
which require far more cultivation, must be content with 
the paltry allowance of a few weekly lessons'?" 

The subject of Sunday observance was much discussed 
in the year 1889, on account of the considerable varia- 
tion of methods in that respect in rural communities and 
in American cities. The extreme laxity, almost amount- 
ing to non-observance, which then prevailed in a num- 
ber of cities was Gibbons' reason for the stress which he 
put upon the subject. 

There were gross election frauds in America in those 
days before public opinion had been aroused on the sub- 
ject, and before the safeguards of the secret ballot had 
been perfected. Gibbons described those frauds "as the 
gravest menace to free institutions." His warning 
against the intolerable delays in many of the processes of 
courts of justice was one which he repeated not infre- 
quently in public addresses. 

In the midst of one of the busiest periods of his life, 
Gibbons found time to write his third book, The Ambas- 
sador of Christ. Though he was often hurried in this 
task by other duties, his powers of mind enabled him to 
concentrate on it in the intervals of interruptions. The 
title is taken from the twentieth verse of the fifth chapter 


of II Corinthians: "For Christ we are ambassadors; God, 
as it were, exhorting by us." It is a book for priests, 
embodying the experiences and views of a man who had 
achieved remarkable results in developing other men for 
the labors of the ministry. 

The origin of The Ambassador of Christ was an essay 
on the vocation of the priesthood originally intended for 
a magazine. Gibbons found it too long and divided it 
into two parts; these parts also seemed too long and he 
divided each of them into two more parts. Finally the 
idea came to him: "I will write a book on the subject"; 
and he proceeded to the task. 

He pointed out in its pages that it was doubtful if any 
age or country ever presented a more inviting field for 
missionary labor than the United States, Catholic pas- 
tors here had a free opportunity for their spiritual efforts. 
"No military satrap or state functionary is permitted to 
enter our churches in the capacity of official censor to 
arrest, fine or imprison a minister of the Gospel for his 
conscientious utterances in vindication of social morals 
and in denunciation of official corruption." He set forth 
reasons for the view which he often expressed that Ameri- 
cans were fundamentally a religious people, emphatically 
rejecting the opinion of those who characterized them as 
a nation so absorbed in trade and commerce, in agricul- 
ture and politics as to give scarcely a thought to eternal 
truths. A people having only slight regard for Chris- 
tianity, he held, would not have spent millions annually 
in the erection of churches and in the maintenance of 
home and foreign missions. 

The natural virtues that are the indispensable basis 


of supernatural life, he maintained, were possessed in a 
marked degree by the American people. They were gifted 
and intelligent, self-poised and deliberate, of industrious 
and temperate habits, frank, moral and ingenuous. They 
had a deep sense of justice and fair play; were brave 
and generous, usually showing the courage of their con- 
victions; and, with all this, were law-abiding as a whole. 

While the Catholic Church, he showed, accommodated 
herself to every form of government, she had a special 
adaptability to the American political system and to the 
genius of the people. As the Church was the great con- 
servative force of society the world over, he took the 
ground that her influence was particularly necessary in a 
country of constitutional freedom, where there would be 
at times a tendency to extremes. 

The main topics discussed in The Ambassador of 
Christ include the Divine vocation of the ministry, the 
duties of teachers to pupils, and of pupils to teachers; 
the traits which make a successful priest, and the virtues 
and the accomplishments which he ought to exemplify. 
He urged that priests should go out among their people, 
declaring that the visitation of the sick and distressed was 
the touchstone of apostolic zeal and charity. In particu- 
lar, he advised attention to the young; and he paid a 
beautiful tribute to the Christian mother. 

A reflection of his own deep and constant study of the 
Scriptures is found in a chapter on that subject, in which 
he urged with particular forcefulness the necessity of inti- 
mate communion with the Book of Books. He took 
strong ground in favor of congregational singing, ex- 
pressing the belief that Charles Wesley had accomplished 


as much in the cause of Methodism by his hymns as 
John Wesley had effected by preaching. 

He was particularly earnest in exhorting preparation 
for the duties of the ministry. Learning he pronounced 
essential for a priest. Regarding the argument some- 
times cited that the Apostles, except St. Paul, were illit- 
erate men, he answered that apart from their spiritual in- 
spiration they were far from being deficient in theological 
knowledge. They exhibited a marked familiarity with 
the ancient prophecies; and did they not study divinity 
for three years at its source *? Since their day^ he pointed 
out, education had become far more generally diffused; 
and the priest should keep pace with the trend of modern 
thought in order to make himself an effective unit in the 
world around him. He insisted upon the need of the pov- 
erty of the priesthood, citing Christ as the model. 

His keen interest and practical experience in the man- 
agement of parish schools were reflected in his advice to 
the clergy on that subject. He exhorted pastors to see 
that "next to God, their country should hold the strong- 
est place in the affections of the children." Familiar 
lessons should be incorporated in the textbooks, incul- 
cating reverence for American political institutions and 
embodying a knowledge of the duties and rights of the 
citizen. He recommended the public reading in the 
school room, at intervals, of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence and the Constitution, as being especially profitable 

Not only in his life, but in his literary work, Gibbons 
was stamped as a mentor of priests. The Faith of Our 
Fathers is their best means of presenting the Catholic 


faith to persons whose religious life is weakening, or to 
prospective converts. The Atnbassador of Christ is, in 
its essentials, a textbook for the clergy and since its pub- 
lication it has been used as a guide by many priests in 
the English-speaking world. 

Gibbons' Discourses and Sermons are a collection of 
fifty-five of the principal pulpit addresses which he made 
in the course of his life. When he issued them in 1908, 
he had reached the age of seventy-four years, and they 
embrace therefore the substance of the entire message as 
a preacher which he had undertaken to deliver. They 
have had a large circulation and have brought comfort 
to thousands of Christians, including a great number who 
do not accept the Catholic faith. 

The Retrospect of Fifty Years^ in two volumes, is, to a 
large extent, a collection of his previous writings in re- 
views and magazines and some of his addresses and ser- 
mons delivered upon public occasions, such as church 
anniversaries and conventions. They include his diary 
of the Vatican Council, extracts from which were printed 
in the Catholic World at the time of that gathering, of 
which, when the Retrospect was issued, he was the only 
survivor. In general the subjects covered are Church 
history and political problems, an epitome of his versa- 
tile labors. His faith in America was undimmed, as 
shown by the following extract from the introduction to 
the book: 

"There are few Americans living now who can remem- 
ber the things which I can. I followed Mr. Lincoln's 
dead body in procession when it was brought to this city ; 
I have seen every President since his death, and have 


known most of them personally; I was a grown man and 
a priest during the Civil War when it seemed as if our 
country were to be permanently divided. Very few peo- 
ple now living have .seen the country in such distress as 
I have seen it. But I have lived, thank God, to see it in 
wonderful prosperity and to behold it grown into one of 
the great powers of the earth. 

"Younger men may tremble for the future of this 
country, but I can have nothing but hope when I think 
what we have already passed through, for I can see no 
troubles in the future which could equal, much less sur- 
pass, those which have afflicted us in bygone days. If 
only the American people will hold fast to that instru- 
ment which has been bequeathed to them as the palladium 
of their liberties — the Constitution of the United States, 
— and fear and distrust the man who would touch that 
ark with profane hands, the permanence of our institu- 
tions is assured. 

"In my time I have seen multitudes of Europeans 
seeking this shore in search of liberty and hope. The 
men who were middle aged when I was young, doubted 
and feared whereunto this might grow; but I have seen 
men of foreign birth become one with us, and I think it 
no more than justice that I should call the attention of 
my countrymen to the reason. 

"The same power which welded the Latin, Gaul, 
Frank, Briton and Norman into the nation of France; 
which welded the Briton, Saxon, Dane and Norman into 
the nation of England, has been present among us and 
has again exercised its benign influence in welding divers 
races into one people: That power is the Catholic 
Church. If there do not now lie over against each other 
in this country hostile nationalities with different lan- 
guages, different points of view and different aspirations, 
it is because those who have come to us, whatever may 
have been their nationality, have for the most part had 


one common characteristic — they have been Catholic 

"When I was young, men feared the Catholic Church 
because they thought her foreign and un-American. Yet 
I have lived to see their children and their children's 
children acknowledge that if the different nations which 
have come to our shores have been united into one people, 
and if today there is an American people, it is largely ow- 
ing to the cohesive and consolidating influence of the 
Christian religion of our ancestors. 

"But again, many men once amongst us feared the 
Catholic Church because they thought her opposed to 
liberty; yet if they had read history, even superficially, 
they would have known that no liberty which they pos- 
sessed has come to them except through the agency of that 
religion which molded our barbarian ancestors into the 
civilized nations of Europe. But for her there would 
have been no civilization today, and without civilization 
there could have been no liberty. 

"Nor has the Church affected those only who have 
come to these shores and brought them in contact with 
American ideals. She has attracted to her communion 
multitudes of the native born, as she does wherever she 
is free to preach the Gospel ; for she cannot speak to any 
man or woman of European descent without awakening 
in his or her mind the echoes of the faith of our fathers ; 
for that is the faith the Church teaches. Her faith is the 
faith of the fathers, not alone of the immigrants, but 
also of the native born. For centuries all our fathers 
were born to her in Holy Baptism and died in her bosom." 


The personality of Gibbons was a never-ending theme 
among those who knew him. It was not only one of the 
most strongly marked that was possessed by any con- 
spicuous leader of his time; it was also one of the most 
fascinating and versatile. 

No man probably ever appeared in more different roles 
with the same appearance of equal ease. This amounted 
almost to causing the equivalent of an impression that 
he was several different men in one and could transform 
himself from one to another by mere thought. 

The extreme mobility of his countenance contributed 
both to the appearance and the reality of his versatility. 
His features seldom seemed to be in precisely the same 
alignment on any two occasions. The difference might 
be slight or marked at various times, but there was no 
mistaking the fact that a difference existed. He was the 
despair of photographers, who could never obtain two 
views of him that were exactly alike, and of painters and 
sculptors, for whom he did not retain a fixed expression 
long enough for them to reproduce it to their own satis- 
faction. He was not merely a man of numerous moods, 
but seemed to have an infinity of them. 

In the blend of home life and work in his archiepisco- 

pal residence his many-sided character was abundantly 



in evidence. During about fifteen hours of every day 
he was constantly occupied, and his endurance was a baf- 
fling manifestation to those who were aware that his 
health was not of the best. His activity continued with 
only slight impairment up to the time of his last illness. 
Even beyond the age of eighty he accomplished more than 
most men in their prime, although the gradually increas- 
ing effort which was required to do this became apparent. 

He accounted for his own vital force by saying that it 
was due to "regular habits, consistent diet, plenty of 
fresh air and periodical exercise of the mind and body." 
Another cause was his habit of moderation, for he exem- 
plified to a marked degree the Greek motto "nothing too 
much." Still another was an habitual optimism and 
cheerfulness, the effects of which were apparent in slow- 
ing up the decline which age might otherwise have 
brought. Always he was looking ahead to something to 
be done that was worth doing, and he undertook nothing 
without a buoyant belief that he would succeed. His 
mind and nervous system were constantly stimulated by 
this process of courageous anticipation. 

One physical gift of immense value to him was the 
fact that his nerves appeared to be under complete con- 
trol at nearly all times. His habits of thought and ac- 
tion were steady, consistent and logical, rather than tem- 
peramental, .although at rare intervals a vein of the 
temperamental was evident. His firm and penetrating 
but kindly gaze reflected the solidity and alert poise of 
his mind. It was virtually impossible to disconcert him 
by surprise or any other artifice. 

His habit of being busily occupied in a great variety 


of duties diverted his mind from his physical defects. 
Notwithstanding this, he fell into a habit, which neces- 
sity imposed early in life, of taking the best care of his 
general physical condition and of undergoing no risks, 
with the single exception of prolonged exertion, which 
might affect it adversely. 

The climate of Baltimore, though on the whole pleas- 
ant and salubrious, is changeable because the city is on 
an isothermal line where the characteristics of the weather 
in the northern states and the southern states blend. This 
involves the necessity of care in the matter of dress to the 
residents of the city and Gibbons had his own ideas about 
the attire which suited the climate. In cold weather he 
never "bundled up," no matter what the temperature. 
When he was in the prime of life, he was accustomed to 
wear a medium-weight overcoat in winter and omitted 
all special protection of the neck and throat. Sometimes 
he wore no gloves out of doors in the cold months, but 
occasionally appeared in comparatively thin ones of kid. 
He disliked to wear overshoes and was accustomed to take 
long tramps in the snow without them, but if the pave- 
ments were slushy or unusually damp from rain he would 
sometimes wear a pair of half-rubbers to prevent the soles 
of his feet from becoming wet. 

In his walks he appeared in a suit of the plain black 
cloth which priests wear, of good but cheap material and 
without distinctiveness of any kind. The only marks of 
dress to indicate his rank were the touch of red at the 
throat and the red zucchetto, the rim of which showed 
below the back of his hat. For many years he was ac- 
customed to wear a silk hat on most of his walks, or in 


summer a straw hat of the somber color used by Ameri- 
can clergymen; but in later years he was partial to the 
broad-brimmed, black felt hat with a round, low crown, 
which many Bishops and priests wear in Europe, and 
some in the United States. 

His customary attire at home was a black cassock and 
a cape edged with red. Only rarely did he wear a cassock 
entirely of red. In the privacy of his study his form was 
concealed by a dressing gown. He wished to wear light 
clothing as a rule indoors, and avoided overheating his 
residence in winter, although he was careful to seek an 
even temperature in the house at all times. 

So regular were his habits that a priest of his house- 
hold once remarked that "the clock in the residence could 
be set by the time when the Cardinal rises and when he 
goes to bed." This was also true, to a large extent, of 
some of the other divisions of time into which he sepa- 
rated the day's activities. 

Every morning he arose at six o'clock. His bedroom 
was of the simplest. It contained a walnut bed, a dress- 
ing table, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. For years 
its appearance remained unchanged. So averse was the 
Cardinal to innovations in personal habits that he con- 
tinued to use an old-time pitcher and wash basin for his 
ordinary ablutions long after the development of plumb- 
ing brought the common use of running water in bed- 
rooms. Priests are usually slow to make changes in liv- 
ing conditions which merely minister to their own com- 
fort, and the Cardinal shared this disposition. 

He kept in his bedroom two pieces of apparatus for 
muscular development and used them for a few minutes 


after dressing every morning. One of them was for bring- 
ing elasticity and strength to the arms; the other to the 
body and legs. He called this process, as many athletes 
do, "limbering up," and considered it to be especially 
valuable in stimulating his vitality for the day's stress. 

Twenty minutes after the Cardinal arose, he was fully 
dressed and ready for the routine of the day. The next 
thirty-five minutes he spent in morning prayers and medi- 
tations in his room, his favorite subjects for spiritual re- 
flection in that period being the Gospels or the epistles 
of St. Paul. At seven o'clock punctually he entered the 
Cathedral and began the celebration of his daily Mass, a 
service which was attended often by hundreds of persons. 
The Mass was ended at half past seven and after it he 
spent twenty minutes in prayer before the Blessed Sacra- 
ment (Thanksgiving after Mass). 

He then turned his attention to secular things, re- 
turning to his study in the southeast corner of his resi- 
dence and devoting about ten minutes to glancing over 
his morning mail and newspapers. At eight o'clock he 
was called to breakfast. 

By that time he had developed some degree of appe- 
tite, but was most careful to eat sparingly and to avoid 
partaking of anything outside a small range of foods 
which, he had learned from experience, he was usually 
able to assimilate. Every day in the year, except during 
Lent and on Fridays and other days of abstinence, the 
dishes were almost the same. In Lent he restricted the 
meal to a small portion of bread and a cup of coffee. 

Immediately after breakfast the Cardinal returned to 


his study and read the day's newspapers rapidly but 
with discriminating perception as to their contents. Al- 
ways keenly interested in Baltimore, he was accustomed 
to read the local news first, and sometimes made notes 
of things that interested him or were important to him. 
Next, he hastily scanned the news of America and the 
world, in not a little of which he had a direct concern. 
The developments of government and politics in this 
country and abroad were particularly absorbing to him 
as a result of his natural bent for the consideration of 
public questions. He derived much pleasure from study- 
ing the editorials, expressing sometimes to his secretary, 
if that functionary happened to be present, his agreement 
or disagreement with the views set forth. 

Soon the Cardinal turned to the work of disposing of 
his mail, which was, naturally, exceptionally voluminous 
and varied. There might be a letter from the Pope or one 
or more of the Cardinals in Rome who were the heads of 
the bureaus of the Church. These required careful 
thought both as to their substance and the wording of the 
replies, and Gibbons often put them aside in order to 
write the answers in Latin in his own hand. There 
might also be a letter from the President of the United 
States, the Secretary of State, some other member of the 
Cabinet, an American governor, or one of the diplomatic 
corps stationed in Washington. Many of these also he 
answered personally, being able to write rapidly in his 
small and legible hand and apparently feeling little fa- 
tigue from doing so. If he dictated replies to such letters, 
he was extremely precise as to every word, sometimes ris- 


ing from his chair and pacing up and down the floor 
with his hands behind his back, as he framed the answer 
for his secretary to take down. 

While dictating, the expression of his countenance was 
one of intense concentration. His eye was as keen as the 
glistening point of a lance; his features were the picture 
of alertness, resourcefulness, speed, like those of a lithe 
runner about to dart across the starting line for a race. 
Every word came out with a clear-cut precision of thought 
that seemed to pierce to the heart of all obscurity. He 
almost leaped from one letter or document to another 
until the last of them had been disposed of. Then his 
high-speed mental engine stopped; but he could start it 
again at the same speed, if need be, at a moment's notice. 

The other American Archbishops were in frequent cor- 
respondence with him, and their letters received pains- 
taking attention. Much of his correspondence related to 
his own diocese, upon which he held the reins as firmly 
as any Bishop in the world. No matter what his general 
preoccupations might be, he was always ready to advise 
one of his priests as to any problem which appeared to 
be difficult, whether it might be the raising of funds to 
build a church or a rectory; the establishment of a mis- 
sion, or a disciplinary question that might arise within a 
parish. The priests were not slow to consult him about 
many details, knowing his habit of devoting careful 
attention to them ; and, besides, not a few of them wrote 
to him upon subjects which were purely personal. There 
were also hundreds in secular walks of life who wrote to 
him upon personal topics, many of which might have 
appeared insignificant in the Cardinal's widely extended 


perspective, but few of which he was accustomed to ig- 
nore. His letters to these correspondents were usually of 
moderate length, but he always avoided the brevity which 
might suggest brusqueness. 

Applications for help were numerous in his mail. Some 
persons wished financial assistance, either for causes 
which they represented or for themselves ; others besought 
his endorsement of their applications for positions in the 
business world. Naturally many persons whose minds 
were unbalanced on the subject of religion wrote to him, 
some of their communications being a score of pages in 

Besides all these there was a deluge of advertisements 
of many kinds and offers of stock in mines, industrial 
enterprises and land schemes, either as gifts or sales, such 
as Americans of prominence receive. Publishers sent to 
him many books. The political pamphleteers and other 
pleaders did not fail to address their appeals to so power- 
ful a figure in national life. Many of these communica- 
tions obviously required no answer. 

The Cardinal's mind was then functioning at its best, 
which meant that he was capable of more intellectual 
action in an instant than most persons are capable of in 
hours. When he was in the prime of life the position of 
his secretary was not without its trials. He did not per- 
sonally write or dictate all his letters, because the time 
consumed by that process would have been too long. 
Not infrequently, where the circumstances permitted, he 
would toss a letter to his secretary, giving the substance 
of his reply, and saying to him: "Answer along these 


There were some exceptionally gifted men who were 
assigned to transcribe his correspondence at one period or 
another, but it was almost impossible for any of them 
to keep up with the whirlwind speed of the Cardinal's 
mind. At the end of half an hour or more, when he had 
finished and they left his study, their senses were almost 
benumbed by the task which had been given to them. 
If they failed in some particular, Gibbons was indulgent 
and forgiving; but this only softened and did not remove 
the apprehension with which the secretary sat down in 
his own room to transfer to formal communications the 
thoughts which had flashed so rapidly from the brilliant 
brain of the Cardinal. 

Correspondence with Rome and with Catholic prelates 
elsewhere occupied a part of virtually every day. Even 
after the establishment of the Papal legation at Wash- 
ington, Gibbons' position made it necessary that much 
of the American correspondence with Rome should con- 
tinue to center in him. 

Every Christmas he was accustomed to send to each 
of his fellow Cardinals and to the Catholic sovereigns of 
Europe letters wishing them prosperity, and offering 
prayers in their behalf. Before the World War these 
letters were addressed to the Emperor of Austria, the 
Kings of Spain, Belgium and Saxony, and the Prince 
Regent of Bavaria. After the war he continued to send 
them to the Spanish and Belgian monarchs. 

His correspondence with all the later Presidents was 
frequent, as well as with many cabinet officers and heads 
of bureaus in Washington. Not a few of these sought 



his advice upon general subjects. His reach in Ameri- 
can affairs seemed to penetrate almost everywhere. 

He was invited, in some of the letters that he received, 
to furnish material for debating societies. Requests were 
made that he define views on government or current 
events, and general questions were propounded to him. 
It was characteristic of him that he took the pains to an- 
swer as many of these communications as possible in a 
way that would satisfy the inquirers. 

Having finished with the mass of his correspondence, 
Gibbons was accustomed to take up diocesan financial 
affairs and his private business, which were not small in 
volume. As the property of the Church in an American 
diocese is held in the name of the Bishop, his judgment 
and assent were necessary as to many details of financial 
administration in the parishes. Bequests whose total 
amounted to millions of dollars were made to him per- 
sonally, it being expected, of course, that he would dis- 
tribute the proceeds in works for the Church or general 
benevolence. The royalties upon his books brought him 
a large sum which was all his own; but he spent this 
almost as rapidly as it came, and never on himself or 
his own comforts. 

His charities were without number and unknown to 
any individual except himself. His fixed habit in regard 
to them was not to let his left hand know what his right 
hand did, and nothing could induce him to depart from 
it. Some of the money which he bestowed, apart from 
that devoted directly to Church purposes, went to educa- 
tional and other institutions in the diocese of Baltimore, 


including the Catholic University. He also paid from 
time to time for repairs and improvements to his titular 
church in Rome, that of Santa Maria in Trastevere, and 
on one occasion gave $4,500 for placing a new roof upon 

He was constantly bestowing gifts upon persons who 
needed them, including clothing and books, and gave 
prompt attention to every bill for those things that was 
sent to him. Many students received assistance from 
him. Some of these were young men preparing for the 
priesthood; others were acquiring a general education in 
Catholic institutions. Among the last named were girls 
or young women who had become orphaned, or who, for 
some other reason, were suddenly left without funds 
while their education was incomplete. Not one of them 
knew who it was who paid for their tuition, books, clothes 
and even the expenses of vacation trips. 

The Cardinal's benefactions were freely given to those 
who applied to him directly. The following actual case 
was one of many: An elderly woman approached 
him as he was entering his residence. She told him that 
she was in want, related the circumstances and named the 
amount which would relieve her necessities. The Car- 
dinal replied: 

"My good daughter, I am sorry to hear of your plight. 
Surely you will receive the necessary assistance. Now go 
in peace." 

He immediately called an attache of the archiepiscopal 
house, telling him to take the woman's name and see that 
help was sent to her. She went on her way, and he 
raised his hand in blessing and proceeded to his room. 


It would be appraising the Cardinal's benefactions 
unfairly to assume that they consisted wholly of financial 
aid. He was accustomed to mingle good counsel and 
personal effort with the assistance which he extended. 
The fact that any person was in distress appealed to him 
instantly, and he did not always stop to inquire as to the 
reason. He would take time that might have been de- 
voted to far weightier things to listen to accounts of in- 
dividual troubles and to lend his sympathetic and active 
efforts toward permanently assuaging them. Of all the 
things in life which gave him satisfaction this was prob- 
ably the first. Although sometimes persons in his house- 
hold would catch a clue to one or more of his acts of this 
kind, he showed great ingenuity in concealing them. The 
best indication of their aggregate mass was the fact that 
dozens of individuals placed in positions of responsibility 
for the care of young persons and the poor considered the 
Cardinal to be their benefactor and helper, ready to give 
to the utmost of his ability and to devote his time to 
them, as if that were the only concern which he had. 

So much did he give away that he was sometimes seri- 
ously embarrassed for lack of funds, although he ab- 
horred debt and sought never to contract it. Once he said 
to a friend : 

'T have not a dollar in the world; if I had, I would pay 
the debt upon Gibbons' Hall.^ As it has been erected 
and bears my name, I am uneasy that any incumbrance 
hangs over it." 

So rapidy did Gibbons work that by ten o'clock every 
week day morning he was ready to receive callers. From 

* At the Catholic University. 


ten to twelve any person who went to his residence with 
a legitimate mission could see him. There are two recep- 
tion rooms in the house, and often there were callers in 
both, as well as in a third room near-by which was 
brought into use in order to provide for any overflow. 
The audiences were arranged so that wherever it seemed 
proper the Cardinal could receive his visitors individually. 

Now and then, when there was a lull, he would trip 
up the stairs to his study, often two steps at a time, sel- 
dom placing his hand upon the railing of the staircase for 
support. At the appearance of the next visitor, he would 
descend with unruffled calm, as if the new caller were the 
first who had come to see him that morning. 

Many of his visitors were men distinguished in ecclesi- 
astical or public life. There might be foreign diplomats 
or noblemen, American statesmen, politicians, bankers, 
merchants, authors, scientists, even actors and actresses, 
some of whom called upon business and others merely to 
pay their respects. Almost every distinguished visitor 
to Baltimore who felt that it was proper for him to call 
upon the Cardinal did so. European writers and persons 
of note who were making tours of the country usually di- 
verted their travels so that they might visit the famous 
prelate. One and all of these expressed amazement, as 
well they might, at the range of his knowledge of the sub- 
jects which particularly interested them, including condi- 
tions in their own countries. 

Few men knew as well as he how to end a visit without 
disturbing the sensibilities of the caller, who usually left 
with a feeling of having been complimented by the espe- 
cial attention bestowed. 


Among his visitors were non-Catholic ministers, some 
of whom, strange to say, consulted him about questions 
relating to religion in regard to which they valued his 
opinion more than those of men high in their own com- 

Gibbons never attended a theater, so the actors and 
actresses who visited him called, as a rule, because they 
were devout Catholics and wished to pay their respects 
to him while they were in Baltimore. He recognized that 
some plays might be good, in fact beneficial to the moral 
nature, as well as entertaining, yet he regarded so many 
of them as evil in their effects upon the mind that he 
could never bring himself to witness even one. He was 
well acquainted with William J. Florence, Mary Ander- 
son, Margaret Anglin and a number of other leading 
stage folk, to whom he showed the utmost kindness when 
the opportunity permitted. Mary Anderson (Mrs. Na- 
varro) he regarded as a model of what a woman on the 
stage ought to be, and she, in turn, was devoted to him. 
After she had abandoned a theatrical career and taken 
up her residence in England she esteemed it an honor to 
visit him whenever his presence in that country made it 

Sometimes he received special invitations to attend 
theatrical performances. When he was Vicar Apostolic 
of North Carolina, Edwin Forrest played in Wilmington 
and sent a member of his company to invite Gibbons to 
occupy a box at the performance. The emissary was, 
perhaps, not well chosen, for this is the way he expressed 

"Bishop, it is a question mooted among moralists as to 


whether the stage, the press or the pulpit is the greatest 
force for the advancement of religious and moral ideas. 
As a member of the theatrical profession, I hesitate to 
express my opinion." 

The Bishop might have considered that he had ground 
for assuming that the opinion which the actor withheld 
was that the theatrical profession ranked first in this re- 
spect. At any rate, he declined with thanks the invita- 
tion which was presented. 

European visitors were surprised at the ease with which 
it was possible to arrange an audience with the Cardinal. 
Naturally influenced by conditions which prevailed in 
their own countries, they supposed that much formality 
was necessary both in obtaining his consent to an inter- 
view and as to the form of the interview itself. In both 
of these matters they were greatly mistaken. 

At the front door, instead of the liveried footman who 
acts as usher for princes of the Church in Europe, was a 
boy usually between thirteen and seventeen years old, 
dressed in ordinary street clothes, who received cards 
and carried them to Gibbons. All appearance of state or 
of more than the simplest formality was lacking. The 
real democracy of Gibbons' life was nowhere better 
shown than in the manner of his public receptions. 

His habit of meeting any person who called led some- 
times to embarassing incidents, and on one occasion to 
serious personal danger to himself. A man who the 
Baltimore police said was a persistent criminal was found 
on the street in the dress of a Catholic priest. It was 
charged that he had attempted to obtain money fraudu- 
lently from a business firm. When arrested, the man 


said that he was a priest and asked to be taken to the 
Cardinal's residence, so that he could prove his identity. 
Detectives, relying upon the Cardinal's good nature and 
his willingness to receive all, took the man to the archi- 
episcopal house and requested Gibbons to examine him. 
The Cardinal at once asked that the suspect be left alone 
in the room with him for a few moments in order that 
he might question him. 

As Gibbons closed the door the man stood threaten- 
ingly, with his hand in his overcoat pocket as if he might 
draw a pistol. The Cardinal faced him fearlessly. Only 
a few moments were required for him to ascertain defi- 
nitely that the man was an impostor, and he pronounced 
him such with the utmost coolness. The detectives were 
again summoned and when the Cardinal had informed 
them that the man was not a priest they took him away 
to be arraigned. At the police station he drew a pistol 
from his overcoat pocket and fired two shots. Later the 
same man attempted to escape from jail and was only 
prevented from doing so by the breaking of a rope. 

Not infrequently persons who were somewhat unbal- 
anced mentally contrived to obtain audiences with the 
Cardinal, but his kindness and cordiality combined with 
his ever-present tact usually caused them to reconsider 
their desire to become disagreeable in any way. In May, 
1899, ^ demented Baltimore mechanic called at his resi- 
dence, and, upon being told that the Cardinal was out, 
attempted to break in the door. He threatened to kill 
the boy usher, and finally forced his way into the house, 
where one of the Cathedral clergy contrived to save the 
situation by the exercise of ready wit. Inviting the in- 


truder into a room, he closed the door and kept him a 
prisoner until a policeman arrived. 

At noon Gibbons suspended his public audiences for 
the time being, unless callers were waiting, or unless 
there was special reason to see some one who arrived 
after that time. He then retired to his study and spent 
half an hour in the reading of his office, the daily spiritual 
exercise prescribed by the Church. 

Changing to street clothes and taking his hat and cane, 
he started about half past twelve for his first daily walk. 
His habitually cheerful mood became blithe and buoyant 
as soon as he reached the open air, and, with the more 
serious cares brushed aside, he started briskly through 
the streets of downtown Baltimore. 

Usually the Cardinal had some goal in these journeys. 
Often he stopped at a bank where he was accustomed 
to attend to his personal finances. Sometimes he went 
to a book store, where his eye roved over the new acquisi- 
tions, and he bought what he wished for himself, as well 
as made occasional purchases of gifts for others. Again 
his jaunt was through the busiest part of the city to the 
office of his close friend, Michael Jenkins, the president 
of a trust company, who was also the treasurer of the 
Catholic University, and with whom he often considered 
problems developed by the extraordinarily rapid growth 
of that institution. If his watch, his spectacles, or any 
little personal article needed repairs, he would stop in 
places where these things could be attended to. Now 
and then he visited one of the convents near the center 
of the city, and not infrequently took the opportunity to 
call upon a sick friend who, needless to say, was im- 


mensely consoled by the considerate personal attentions 
of so distinguished a man. 

The revelation of the Cardinal's list of personal 
acquaintances was little short of overpowering to persons 
who were invited now and then to accompany him on 
these midday excursions. As he passed along the busy 
streets, he seemed to be almost continually lifting his 
hat, and he called by name many of the persons with 
whom he exchanged salutations. These acquaintances 
were of almost endless variety. They embraced, of 
course, almost the whole body of the leading men of 
Baltimore in nearly every walk of life, but from this 
apex they reached far down until they included news- 
boys, upon whom the Cardinal was not unlikely to bestow 
more time and attention than persons far above them in 
station. Occasionally he would stop to buy out-of-town 
newspapers from one of these boys, to drop a silver coin 
into his hand and to exchange a few pleasant words. 

The Cardinal's custom of buying newspapers in the 
course of his walks soon became known among newsboys 
generally, and five or six would rush to meet him, each 
making a desperate effort to reach him first. He would 
seem greatly amused, but always picked out the boy from 
whom he was accustomed to purchase. 

It is not usual for an Archbishop to possess a personal 
acquaintance so large as to excite remark, but for many 
years Gibbons had one far larger than any other man 
in Baltimore. His intimates accepted this as a truism, 
but no matter how well they were aware of the general 
range of his personal relations they found new amaze- 
ment each time they accompanied him on his midday 


walks from observing the number who saluted him, and 
were saluted in turn, in such a short distance as from 
one street corner to another. Strangest of all, he seemed 
to be an intimate part of the daily lives of those with 
whom he exchanged salutations, sharing their joys and 
sorrows — a fountain from which a thousand streams 

At twenty minutes past one o'clock, punctual as al- 
ways, the Cardinal returned to his residence and ten 
minutes later was seated at dinner. This was his most 
abundant meal of the day, as he had found from experi- 
ence that hearty meals in the morning and evening usually 
deranged his digestion. Dinner was to him one of the 
main events of the day, and almost always he sat down 
to the table in high spirits, radiating zest, pleasantry and 
anecdote. The weakness of his digestion imposed upon 
him the practise of eating slowly, and he faithfully fol- 
lowed the precepts of Fletcher, often taking a long time 
to eat what to the average person would be a very slender 
meal. For dinner the Cardinal not uncommonly had a 
guest or two, perhaps a visiting Bishop, priest or layman. 
To these he was always hospitable and entertaining, with 
a grace that seemed unique, keeping up his spirited con- 
versation and laughing heartily at times. 

When only priests of the household were present. Gib- 
bons led the conversation on terms of easy friendship 
with them, and talked freely of events of the day, per- 
sons, places and things, telling many stories and giving 
forth a flood of information which made the period one 
of great profit to young clergymen. 

At dinner, as at breakfast, he chose his menu carefully 


and it was practically the same from day to day and 
year to year, except on fast days. Intricately prepared 
or highly seasoned dishes were always excluded from his 

Dinner usually consumed about three-quarters of an 
hour, after which the Cardinal returned to his study. 
Now began the only interval of the day in which he 
secluded himself. No matter where he was, or what sub- 
ject was occupying him, he attempted to sleep for an 
hour after the midday dinner. He formed this habit 
early in life and continued it because it enabled him to 
recuperate amazingly. Sometimes he was able to recline 
and sleep soundly during that period, but often, espe- 
cially in later years, he could not do so, and rested in a 
big leather-covered chair with all cares and preoccupa- 
tions dismissed from his mind. 

By three o'clock he had fully recovered from fatigue, 
no matter how trying the duties of the morning had been. 
Sometimes these duties included preaching, the ordina- 
tion of priests, or the long process of confirming a numer- 
ous class. Almost always he arose from his rest thor- 
oughly refreshed for new occupations. 

He then resumed the reading of his office and at the 
conclusion of this long exercise indulged in a cigar — 
often his first of the day. He used to say that he did 
not smoke until he was past thirty years of age, and even 
then not from preference, but in order to prevent other 
persons who wished to smoke from being constrained in 
his presence. 

Until half past four o'clock he remained in his resi- 
dence for afternoon audiences, tripping down the steps 


to receive callers as in the morning, and returning at 
intervals. It was during this part of the day that priests 
of the diocese usually called upon him. When they were 
with him, if a shadow rested because of the rigid self- 
discipline of ecclesiastical life, he dispelled it with the 
sweet sunshine of a joyous and elastic nature. Even as 
he celebrated with deep devotion the commemoration of 
Golgotha, his heart was buoyant with the eternal hope 
born of the deliverance on the first Easter day. To him 
life was brightness, and the mercy that removed the stains 
of the thief on the Cross was ever ready for the humblest 
of men. The thought of diffusing joy was as much a 
part of him as the thought of service — in fact, he counted 
it service to make men happy as well as good. 

When the period for these audiences had ended, he 
began his second and longest walk of the day. This 
usually lasted for at least an hour and often much longer. 
He always traversed several miles in the residential sec- 
tion of the city, even in severe weather, bowing as before 
to acquaintances seemingly without number. In the 
prime of his physical activity he sometimes walked ten 
or more miles a day and persons who accompanied him 
found the ordeal so exhausting that some of them were 
compelled to ask his permission to leave before the trip 
was concluded. 

He walked at a brisk pace with a long stride, after the 
manner of men accustomed to pedestrianism. His head 
was usually slightly bowed, but his quick eyes observed 
everything around him. Now and then he invited dis- 
tinguished visitors to accompany him upon these walks. 


but if he intended to make the journey a long one, he 
sometimes warned them in advance that they might find 
the exercise trying. 

These excursions were a source of immense refresh- 
ment to the Cardinal. He varied his route from time to 
time, but always returned to the Cathedral, where he 
stopped for a visit of fifteen minutes to the Blessed Sacra- 
ment. At half past six o'clock came a light supper, fol- 
lowed by another cigar. 

The heavier cares of the day having now passed, the 
Cardinal spent the early evening in the quiet of his study, 
seeking the solace of a book or perhaps a chat with an 
intimate friend. At half past seven o'clock he said his 
rosary, or, if he happened to be going out to dinner, he 
performed that act of devotion before leaving the house ; 
nothing was permitted to interfere with it. From half 
past nine to a quarter of ten he recited his night prayers, 
and at ten o'clock he was in bed, allowing nothing, save 
some extraordinary circumstance, to interfere. 

The total time which he spent in devotions was never 
less than three and a half to four hours daily, unless_ he 
was afflicted by particularly severe illness. The reading 
of his office alone consumed about an hour and a half. 
This consists of matins and lauds, three quarters of an 
hour; the "Little Hours," twenty minutes to half an hour, 
and vespers and complin, fifteen minutes. In the United 
States it is customary to say the matins and lauds ^ last, 
and Gibbons followed this method. At nine o'clock punc- 
tually, in the midst of his busy mornings, he began with 

' Of the next day. 


the "Little Hours," which many priests, who have far 
less exacting duties, are inclined to put off until later. 
Added to his numerous acts of daily devotion, he went 
to confession once a week at St. Mary's Seminary, and 
annually joined in the retreat there. 

It was remarked that he never performed his private 
devotions where others could see him; his devotional life 
was "hidden with Christ in God." 

Away from home the Cardinal varied his daily routine 
as little as possible. It is safe to say that no Bishop in 
the world was more punctilious in attending to his 
diocesan duties, which required many journeys. He con- 
tinued these journeys up to the time of his last illness, 
and until he was eighty years old spared himself nothing 
in the way of physical exertion in the course of them. 

An instance may be given: When he was seventy-six 
years old he made a diocesan trip to Southern Maryland. 
Leaving Baltimore in the morning, he went to Washing- 
ton, took a boat down the Potomac River in the after- 
noon, arrived at Leonardtown, St. Mary's County, at 
sunrise the next morning, pontificated at a solemn High 
Mass at ten o'clock, attended a jubilee celebration of a 
girls' seminary the entire afternoon and received several 
hundred of the residents of the town in the evening. On 
the five following days he went through virtually the 
same protracted exertion, traveling over rough roads in 
a carriage, visiting a dozen churches, confirming more 
than one thousand persons, preaching many times and 
shaking hands with thousands. There was rain on two 
of these days, and traveling was difficult. 

Visitors from abroad, particularly those from Catholic 


countries, wrote much of their observations of Gibbons 
in Baltimore. One of these was Abbe Felix Klein, pro- 
fessor in the Catholic Institute of Paris, who thus re- 
corded his impressions: 

"At four o'clock we started for a drive. Usually the 
Cardinal walks, but today he takes a carriage in order 
that I may see more of the city. Almost everybody 
salutes him. 

"During our trip we had time to talk of many persons 
and many things. A part of our conversation may per- 
haps be repeated without indiscretion. The Cardinal 
praised highly the devoted wisdom of Father Magnien, 
the former superior of the Baltimore Seminary, who was 
foremost in his confidence and friendship. He inquired 
about the Montalembert family, who had some relations 
with him, and who bear a name that he esteems among the 
most honorable in the world. He asked news of Paul 
Bourget, whose visit, some years ago, deeply interested 
him; he was astonished at the accuracy with which the 
author of 'Outre-Mer' was able, without having taken 
notes, to reproduce their conversation. . . . 

"Our talk drifted to some more general questions. 
When the Cardinal speaks of America, his words breathe 
the warmest admiration for her institutions; comparison 
of them with those of other countries is not able to chill 
his sentiments. He rejoices in the splendid possibilities 
which the common freedom opens to the Church and to all 
well-meaning persons. He is pleased to see Catholics 
play the part of good citizens in the affairs of the coun- 
try; he himself sets the example whenever occasion arises. 
His countrymen like to invite him to the great public 
ceremonies, at which a place is reserved for him next to 
the President. 

"How important the work of Cardinal Gibbons has 
been I had fresh opportunities of learning during this 


visit to Baltimore. His Eminence honored me with sev- 
eral interviews, and we were together for a long ride 
through the beautiful country that surrounds his episco- 
pal city. From this intercourse with him, I carried away 
a deep impression of the wisdom, prudence and tact with 
which this true shepherd of souls has led his people into 
the ways of fidelity to Catholic teaching, respect for the 
convictions of others, loyalty to country, and generous 
sympathy for the noble aspirations of our age. 

"At the beginning of my sojourn in America, I should 
doubtless have less readily appreciated the mental quali- 
ties of the Cardinal, which are solid and just, rather than 
conspicuous and daring; or his achievements, which are 
substantial, rather than ostentatious; or, again, his elo- 
quence, which he prefers should be of practical use, rather 
than for literary display; or, finally, that combination of 
traits of character which makes a true and genuine man, 
rather than the mere appearance of one. I say, I should 
not have been prepared at first properly to estimate all 
this; but as I became more familiar with American condi- 
tions, and more permeated with the American spirit — a 
spirit which is simple, practical, frank, optimistic and 
tolerant — I understood how greatly favored the Church 
has been in having for leaders men like Cardinal Gib- 
bons; men who know and love their country, and in their 
own character exhibit in a high degree the qualities most 
dear to Americans. . . . 

"How favored a place Baltimore is for great ecclesias- 
tical events, the opportunities it affords for picking up 
ecclesiastical information and meeting distinguished 
churchmen, I learned from many indications during the 
three days I spent there. Mgr. Kain, Archbishop of St. 
Louis, who had come to the city some months previously 
to seek medical care at a sanitarium of the Sisters of 
Charity, died the day after my arrival. He left behind 
him the memory of an apostle, of a man of faith, forti- 


tude and wisdom. On the third day of my visit, I found 
at dinner with Cardinal Gibbons, Mgr. Falconio, Apos- 
tolic Delegate. I remember with what lively sympathy 
he expressed himself on the religious conditions of the 
United States. He had lived there long enough to un- 
derstand those conditions, and to appreciate them cor- 
rectly. Happening to discuss with him affairs in France, 
and anxious to learn his opinion of the separation of 
Church and State in France, I was surprised, and, to be 
frank, delighted, to find that the prospect of such a sepa- 
ration far from disquieted him. He saw in such an event 
the way of deliverance; a rough way, indeed, but the only 
one that could lead to a revival of the religious life of 
France." ' 

The distinctive atmosphere which surrounded Gibbons 
in his home was best exemplified, perhaps, in his annual 
New Year receptions, which he kept up until the year 
preceding his death. Not to have attended "the Cardi- 
nal's reception" was almost a mark of reproach in certain 
circles of Baltimore. The mayor and living ex-mayors 
of the city were almost always there, and not infre- 
quently the governor of the State. Protestants mingled 
with Catholics in the great crowd which stretched far 
along Charles Street, all eager to shake the hand of 
America's foremost churchman, and to receive the cheer- 
ful words and the smile with which he invariably greeted 
the callers. Mothers brought their children, many of 
whom Gibbons knew by name no less than the promi- 
nent men who thronged his residence on such occasions. 

His ready wit, flashing suddenly at intervals, kept 
every one in good humor; and even in later years he was 

"Klein, The Land of the^ Strenuous Life, p. 233 et seq. 


able to preserve the buoyancy of his spirits for hours 
while a long line of visitors was passing him. Now and 
then he paused to tell a story or to exchange a reminis- 
cence. It would have been impossible for him to shake 
hands with all who came, and hundreds, wishing to avoid 
fatiguing the distinguished host, were in the habit of 
leaving their cards and then retiring. Strangers who 
occasionally attended these affairs were amazed at the 
demonstration of the complete respect and warm affec- 
tion on the part of the people, without regard to religious 
belief, for one whom they esteemed above all as a man 
as much as a churchman, catholic in the broad sense of 
that term. 

As any one who chose to come could attend these re- 
ceptions, embarrassing incidents arose occasionally. At 
one of them, twelve girls dressed in white and wearing 
broad red sashes appeared. They marched compactly 
up the center of the room and knelt before the Cardinal. 
One of them who spoke for the group said : 

"We represent the Independent Polish Church, and 
we come before you to ask that you take us all back into 
the Catholic Church, which we regret with all our hearts 
having left." 

The people of the church in question, after many 
stormy dissensions, had previously appealed to Gibbons 
to be restored to the Catholic Church in a body, desiring 
to continue the use of their own place of worship under 
new conditions. He had taken the stand that he could 
not assume the burden of the church property, and that 
the members, as individuals, should join one of the other 
churches in the neighborhood, where there was ample 


room for them. The visit of the girls had been planned, 
it developed, as a final appeal. 

Gibbons, preserving his composure, asked the spokes- 

"Did you go to Mass this morning, my child*?" 

"Yes," she replied. 

"Where*?" he asked. 

"At Holy Rosary Church," she answered, "but it was 
crowded all the time — and " 

A man who had been conducting the delegation warned 
the spokesman at this point to be careful. Gibbons raised 
the girl to her feet and said : 

"There are plenty of churches for all of you to at- 
tend. I thank you for your kindness." 

Some flowers and a silk banner which the girls had 
brought were deposited upon a table, and they departed, 
while the reception proceeded as before. 

Gibbons was also accustomed to hold New Year re- 
ceptions in Washington, at which members of the cabi- 
net. Justices of the Supreme Court, members of the 
Senate and House of Representatives, officers of the 
Army and Navy and foreign envoys were always present. 
He attached great importance to all of his duties in 
Washington, and when some high ecclesiastics in Rome 
favored severing that city from his archdiocese, he 
obtained a promise from Pius X that it would not be 

One would have to go back, perhaps, to Pericles in 
Athens for a parallel to Gibbons' overshadowing promi- 
nence in the city in which he lived. Of those whom the 
attraction of his fame and personality drew to the city, 


some wished to greet him as the author of The Faith of 
Our Fathers^ and he was always delighted at such evi- 
dences of the wide reach of his appeal. A Swedish noble- 
man was one of those who called upon him and said 
that he had become a Catholic through the reading of 
that book. For many years, he told Gibbons, he had 
cherished one great wish, and that was to meet the dis- 
tinguished churchman whose treatise had brought him 
within the Catholic fold.* 

Probably he received more adulation than any other 
American of his time, even Presidents, for the plaudits 
which are showered upon the head of the State usually 
subside in a marked degree after his term of office. There 
was never any sign that Gibbons cared for these things. 
Promotions and honors even seemed to weary him. When 
he was asked upon one occasion if he could recall which 
of the honors conferred upon him had given him the 
greatest pleasure, he said: 

"There was really more of pain than pleasure in these 
events. I was but a young priest when I was made a 
Bishop, and the appointment filled me more with appre- 
hension than with sensations of pleasure. The responsi- 
bility which the position involved oppressed me with 
anxiety. Nor was the anxiety diminished by any of my 
subsequent elevations. Each new advancement only in- 
creased the grave sense of the responsibility which it 

More in the aggregate was written about him in maga- 
zines and newspapers than of any other American in all 

* Smith and Fitzpatrick, Cardinal Gibbons, Churchman and Citizen, 
p. 82. 


the history of the country. This was an index of the 
popular estimate of his place in the life of America. 
Requests for articles and interviews flooded him, and 
he could grant only a small portion of them. During 
the last thirty years of his life many of the Associated 
Press dispatches sent out from Baltimore were about 

He made no attempt to control what was printed about 
him, and did not request that articles obtained from him 
in conversation should be submitted to him for revision, 
although he was willing to revise them when requested 
to do so. At all times he trusted in the freedom of the 
press, believing that to be the best corrective of popular 
error, even though individuals might suffer. Many men 
and women connected with magazines and newspapers 
who were sent to him to obtain interviews became warmly 
attached to him. 

Gibbons had a strong natural disposition to exalt 
simple manhood, rather than rank or station. He made 
allowance at all times for the frailties and failings of 
men, provided these lapses did not spring from wicked- 
ness. Scorning affectation himself, he wished all who 
came in contact with him to be natural and at their ease. 
In his address at the elevation of Archbishop Farley to 
the cardinalate in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, 
he said: 

'T read the other day a report of some discourses by 
eloquent orators of New York. Those discourses, I be- 
lieve, were delivered in one of your large halls, and the 
object of the speakers was to refer to the Cardinal 
[Farley] during the various phases of his singularly 


beneficent life. One of the orators spoke of him as a 
priest; another referred to him as a Bishop; still another 
as an Archbishop; and the 'fourth as a Cardinal; but, I 
think, so far as I can remember, there was no reference 
made to Archbishop Farley the man. After all, the man 
is everything. It is not the Cardinal that ennobles the 
man; it is the man that ennobles the Cardinal." 

Sometimes he cited the life stories of the Apostles as 
showing that men who rise to great heights do not lack 
the faults and weaknesses of human nature. He empha- 
sized this point when he read Furcell's biography of 
Cardinal Manning, being struck especially by the letter 
in which Newman told Maiming that "I do not know 
whether I am on my head or my heels when I have active 
relations with you." ^ He commented that it made the 
portrait of Manning more convincing, in that he was not 
represented as superhuman. Speaking once of his diffi- 
culty in convincing some members of the Hierarchy and 
other churchmen who were on sides opposite to his own 
in acute controversies, he exclaimed: 

"Ah, the saints on earth I They are sometimes very 
trying. But the saints in heaven — that is different." 

One of Gibbons' habits was never to be late at an ap- 
pointment. Generally he arrived a few minutes before 
the time fixed. He was always early in attendance at 
Mass, and set an example to tardy associates. On rare 
occasions he chided them in a good-natured way because 
of their slowness, but usually was inclined to be tolerant 
in this respect. 

The Rev. L. R. Stickney, the last rector of the Balti- 
more Cathedral who served under Gibbons, said of him : 

'Purcell, Life of Cardinal Manning, Vol. II, p. 346. 


"In the thousand little details of life I could always 
approach him with the freedom of a child, certain of a 
patient reception. Now it was a book to be autographed, 
now a photograph to be signed, or word brought that a 
visitor awaited him in the reception-room. Whatever the 
request and how often soever repeated, it was always met 
with a courteous 'Thank you for your trouble.' 

"Often when official business brought me unexpect- 
edly to his room, I would find him at prayer kneeling at 
his well-worn prie-dieu, or pacing up and down, his beads 
between his fingers, when he would pause for an instant 
to take count where he had finished." 

That part of Charles Street where the archiepiscopal 
house stands has been transformed in part by the en- 
croachments of business. Mansions once occupied by the 
scions of colonial aristocracy and by leaders of the gay 
world of fashion have been given over to trade, preserv- 
ing only their architecture as a reminder of the glory 
that was once theirs. The Cardinal's residence stands 
in the dignified elegance of older days. It is still a 
favorite object of interest to visitors; and to hundreds of 
Baltimoreans who walk from their uptown homes to the 
center of the city it is a landmark. In front of it are 
flower beds, which blaze with beauty every Spring and 
Summer, when passers-by in Gibbons' lifetime paused to 
watch what they learned to call "the Cardinal's tulips." 
The flowers were usually of different kinds and colors, 
but often there was a bed of brilliant scarlet tulips which 
matched the color of the Cardinal's robes of state. 


Gibbons was a master of the social graces and in the 
exercise of them was probably without a peer in his native 
city, where they are cultivated to a degree uncommon 
elsewhere in America. He went out rather frequently to 
dinner with friends and said: "I dine out because Christ 
dined out." Mingling with people in many phases of 
life seemed to him to afford opportunities of reaching 
them which it was his duty not to neglect. Being in- 
formed upon a certain occasion that another Archbishop 
customarily declined invitations to dinner, he remarked: 
"It is a great pity that the Archbishop refuses the invita- 
tions of these people. What an opportunity of doing 
good I"* 

Arriving for dinner or for attendance at a fashionable 
reception, he became instantly the focus of attention. 
The guests, young and old, crowded around him to shake 
his hand and receive words of greeting and compliment, 
which few knew so well how to bestow as he. 

Usually he was ready in many instances with a remark 
appropriate to the personality of the individual who 
approached him, no matter how far that might seem to 
be removed from the ken of a Cardinal. He would speak 
to the men of recent incidents in their lives, perhaps of 

' Smith and Fitzpatrick, Cardinal Gibbons, Churchman and Citizen. 



a public or business nature, a wedding in a family, visits 
from relatives, trips out of town, and a variety of sub- 
jects which almost bewildered the crowd with amaze- 
ment at the scope of his information. To the young 
women he would speak in a fatherly fashion, but with- 
out any appearance of patronizing them, noticing little 
changes in their appearance, recalling their parties and 
social ties, observing if they appeared in good health and 
spirits, always leaving the impression of kindness and 
personal interest as if he had singled out each person 
from the throng to speak to him or her individually. 
With the older guests he was inclined to talk of their 
children, the progress they were making at school, their 
growth and development, when he had seen them last, 
and, in general, circumstances of the kind that seemed 
to appeal to them and to him most. 

Needless to say he was soon beloved and revered even 
by persons present who had not known him before, and 
what he said and did during the time he remained was 
the chief subject of interest and comment. No form of 
etiquette seemed too new for him to practise with ease 
and grace, unsurpassed by persons with whom social 
forms were one of the main concerns of life. He never 
remained after nine o'clock in the evening, and, if a din- 
ner were the occasion of his visit, he ate but sparingly. 

Usually his host was a Catholic, but he attended many 
social affairs at which those present were predominantly 
Protestants, without any change in his customary de- 
meanor, or apparently in the affection with which he was 
greeted and the distinction which was accorded to 


Naturally he could not accept more than a small frac- 
tion of the social invitations which were showered upon 
him. In every case his object seemed to be to go where 
he could do the most good, or, in some cases, where the 
urgency of the invitation was such that a refusal would 
leave keen disappointment. 

A wealthy Baltimore physician, noted for the dinners 
that he gave, at which the viands served met the most ex- 
acting standards of Baltimore gastronomies (surely this 
is the ultimate in eulogy I) was exceedingly desirous of 
having the Cardinal dine with him. He repeatedly urged 
the prelate, who was his long-time friend and whom he 
regarded as one of the colossal figures of the world, to 
come to dinner at his house. In his kindly way the Cardi- 
nal put off accepting from time to time, until he discov- 
ered that it would give his friend pain if he failed to 
do so, and then he consented. 

On the evening of the dinner a small but notable com- 
pany of leading men and women of the city assembled 
at the house of the physician, who had put forth his 
utmost exertions to prepare a menu that could not be ex- 
celled. At the table, the Cardinal, as usual, was the life 
of the party, but his host observed with distress, as the 
courses proceeded, that he was not actually eating any- 
thing, although he toyed with his fork in the various 
dishes. Lynnhaven Bay oysters, Maryland terrapin and 
canvasback ducks were passed, the host hoping that the 
famous guest would be tempted to eat by each new tri- 
umph of the cuisine, but he did not do so. Mentally con- 
fessing the failure of his efforts, the host said : 


"Your Eminence, perhaps you would like something 
else than what is being served. If you will tell me what 
you would care to eat, I can have it prepared for you." 

The Cardinal paused in an interval of his brilliant 
conversation, which fascinated all and at the same time 
put them at their ease, and replied, with his radiant 
smile : 

*Tf you have a nice fresh egg, I think I would enjoy it." 

The host was almost ready to collapse for a moment, 
but he recovered his equanimity and ordered an egg, 
doubtless the freshest in the house, to be cooked accord- 
ing to the Cardinal's direction and brought to the table. 

And that was the Cardinal's dinner. 

Gibbons' whole life was sprinkled with incidents in 
which the social aspect played an important part. He 
was as far from considering little things beneath him as 
he was from considering large things too high for him. 
The smaller details of life did not crowd the larger sub- 
jects out of his mind. It seemed to be an inexhaustible 
repository, in which everything was arranged in order, 
to be produced instantly when occasion called for it. 

In a sermon upon "Rewards of Faith" ^ he said: "The 
most commonplace (of our actions) are generally the 
most useful." He proceeded to speak in praise of "those 
ordinary courtesies of social life, those little acts of 
Christian politeness and charity which are scarcely 
noticed," and which he pronounced "often more service- 
able than the most brilliant achievements." 

'Delivered in the Baltimore Cathedral, November i, 1914. 


He seemed always able to say the right thing at the 
right time. In conferring collegiate degrees, of which 
he bestowed thousands, he was as inclined to remark to 
the recipient: "Your cap and gown are very becoming 
to you," as to say "I congratulate you upon the distinc- 
tion which you receive." 

Of his many personal friendships there were two 
which, according to his own testimony, were the closest of 
his life. Of the clergy, his strongest tie was with Mon- 
signor McManus, pastor of St. John's Church, Baltimore, 
whose death on February 28, 1888, he thus recorded in 
his journal: 

"Monsignor B. J. McManus, the dearest friend I had 
among the clergy, died this morning. Deus tibi det 
pacem suam^ amice cordis meiT 

McManus was a particularly good example of the 
simple-hearted priest, a type which always attracted Gib- 
bons powerfully, probably for the reason that he saw 
in it something of a reflection of himself. He singled 
out men of this type, no less among the prelates than the 
clergy, as the objects of his closest personal ties; and, in 
fact, it may be said that he even sought it out among 
the laity as far as its virtues could be attained by them. 
Monsignor McManus was a man of works rather than 
of words. Of deep spirituality, he also possessed the 
executive faculty in no small degree, and developed 
St. John's parish as one of the model communities of its 
kind in Baltimore, providing ample buildings and equip- 
ment for education and social activities, so that it became 
in a way a city within a city. The parishioners found in 
the Church and the many features of social work con- 


nected with it means of innocent diversion, as well as 
devotion; and the parish life absorbed their interest and 
attention to as great an extent perhaps, as it is possible to 
attain in an American city. 

No aspect of the welfare of his people was outside of 
McManus' keen scrutiny, or failed to receive his atten- 
tion. The example of his own godly and devoted life 
was an inspiration to all who came in contact with him. 
He was a frequent visitor at the residence of Gibbons, 
whom he accompanied on many trips, the first of which 
appears to have been when Gibbons went from Baltimore 
to be installed as Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina. A 
picture of McManus was one of the few ornaments of 
the Cardinal's simple bedroom which he retained there 
up to the time of his death. 

Of the laity, the closest friend of Gibbons was Michael 
Jenkins, a member of a Maryland Catholic family which 
has been identified with the State from early Colonial 
days. His father was Thomas C. Jenkins, who at the 
time of his death in 1881 was the oldest pew holder of 
the Cathedral and the oldest member of its board of 
trustees. The family, under the leadership of Michael 
Jenkins, built one of the most beautiful churches of Balti- 
more.^ He was honored with several Papal decorations. 

Many accorded him the place of the foremost business 
man of Baltimore. The trust company of which he was 
the head was one of the principal financial institutions 
of the city, and, in addition, he was one of the controlling 
owners of the stock of an extensive railroad system, and 
of one of the most successful coastwise steamship lines. 

* Corpus Christi. . 


Tall, deep-chested, with a large head, he looked every 
inch the leader that he was. The business in which he 
was so successful was by no means his only occupation. 
He was deeply interested in letters and arts and gave 
freely of his time and money in the promotion of cultural 
influences. As treasurer of the Catholic University he 
helped to rescue it from its direst financial experience, 
and remained one of its firmest friends and supporters 
up to the time of his death. 

Jenkins was ever ready to offer his large wealth for 
the cause of religion, but could never persuade the Cardi- 
nal to take anything for himself. He would have es- 
teemed it a privilege to purchase for Gibbons any luxury 
or comfort and frequently pressed such offers without 
avail. Now and then the Cardinal would accept a gift 
for some necessary change in the archiepiscopal residence 
which would benefit all the other priests there equally, 
but never anything especially for him as an individual. 

This long time friend of the Cardinal survived to the 
age of seventy-three years, and died in Baltimore in 
September, 1915. Gibbons said that the loss "com- 
pletely crushed" him. He presided at the funeral in the 
Baltimore Cathedral and delivered the eulogy, in the 
course of which he made a vow that he would never 
ascend the altar without praying for the soul of Michael 
Jenkins. In this discourse he said that Jenkins regarded 
himself as "not the absolute owner, but the steward of 
the v/ealth which Providence had placed in his hands," 
and that "he felt the force of the axiom that our greatest 
earthly happiness is found in bringing happiness to 
others." The Cardinal added: 


"The death of Mr. Jenkins is a personal loss to my- 
self which cannot be fathomed. His departure has left 
a void in my heart which time cannot fill. It is only 
the vital and consoling influence of religion that can 
reconcile me to my bereavement. He was my constant 
friend and benefactor. He even anticipated my wishes 
in lightening my burden. 

"O beloved and cherished friend, thou wast a prince 
among merchants. Thou wast an uncrowned emperor 
among God's noblemen. I loved thee as dearly as 
Ambrose loved Theodosius." 

Another warm friendship of Gibbons was with Joseph 
Friedenwald, one of the most conspicuous members of 
the Jewish faith in Baltimore, a man of many charities, 
to whom benevolence seemed to be as important as the 
extensive business projects which brought him wealth. 
The Cardinal's acquaintance with Friedenwald began 
when the latter was president of the board of trustees of 
Bayview Asylum, an institution maintained by the 
municipality of Baltimore for the care of the indigent. 
Upon one occasion, while Friedenwald was presiding 
over a meeting of the board, a petition from some of the 
Catholic clergy for the establishment of a chapel in the 
institution for Catholic inmates was presented. Two 
members of the board were Catholics and they earnestly 
supported the petition, but it was opposed by every other 
member except Friedenwald. He held aloof from the 
discussion for some time, and then swung the whole board 
to the side of the Catholic members by a vigorous en- 
dorsement of the project of establishing the chapel. 

Gibbons heard of this act and wrote a letter to Fried- 
enwald expressing his warm thanks, which he supple- 


mented later in a personal conversation. These two men 
of strong character, who agreed in many things outside of 
religious creed, learned to trust and admire each other, 
and their ties soon deepened into affection. Friedenwald 
became one of the privileged callers at the Cardinal's 
residence, where he found a cordial welcome and enjoyed 
delightful chats with his distinguished friend. While 
on a trip to Europe, he obtained a handsome cane of 
tortoise shell, in the gold handle of which were secreted 
quotations from the Scriptures in English and Hebrew, 
worked on vellum. Upon his return he presented this 
cane to the Cardinal, who prized it among the most 
cherished of the many personal gifts that were made 
to him. 

When Friedenwald was stricken with a fatal illness in 
1910, Gibbons visited him at his residence, where the 
meeting between these friends and their affectionate con- 
versation produced a profound impression upon the 
Jewish family. After Friedenwald's death Gibbons said : 

'T lose one of the best friends I had. Religious dif- 
ferences were forgotten in the friendship between us. 
He was upright, true and faithful, and one knew him 
but to love him." 

Friedenwald bequeathed $2000 to the Cardinal in his 
will, much to the prelate's surprise. 

Gibbons' trait of overwhelming determination was 
shown strikingly in the rigid manner in which he regu- 
lated the general outlines of his life. When he had 
reached old age he once said that he had never written 
anything which he regretted. It was his intense alertness 
of mind which enabled him to avoid the mistakes com- 


mon to most men. Prudence characterized his conduct at 
all times, but it was far from the prudence of timidity. 
He could speak and act instantly with a discretion that 
seemed to be the product of long thought and medita- 
tion. Always he kept in mind the fact that an immature 
expression by a Catholic prelate in America would be 
likely to do great harm to the cause of religion. That 
he maintained his poise when he said so much, and upon 
so many different subjects, was extraordinary. 

The atmosphere of religion, or rather of the fruits of 
religion in the individual, accompanied him everywhere. 
Sometimes the thought must have come to him with con- 
siderable force from the suggestions of others that his 
talents might have enabled him to attain even greater 
fame and power outside of ecclesiastical life. There 
was no evidence that this thought ever produced any re- 
gret on his part. Speaking on his seventy-sixth birthday 
of the reflections which the anniversary called up, he said : 

"I am contented ; happy. It is much to be given to any 
mortal to be able to say that. If it were given to me 
to live all of these seventy-six years again, I should not 
wish them different; I should be a priest. The calling 
of a priest is a difficult one, but there is sublime happi- 
ness in the dedication of one's self to service." 

He saw no attraction, he said on the same occasion, in 
the work of a representative in civil government, a lawyer 
or a physician, equal to that of an "Ambassador of 
Christ." In the Church he felt that he could reach the 
great fundamental issues with which the welfare of 
humanity is bound up without the obscurity which so 
often clouds them in the mind of the time-server. 


With all his winning graces of personality, Gibbons 
was one of the most formidable of men if any one at- 
tempted deliberately to obstruct one of his important 
purposes, to take improper advantage of him, or to cross 
him unnecessarily. In such instances his form, usually 
slightly bent, would straighten, his mobile face would 
assume a fixed expression of irresistible determination, 
and his eye would seem like a flaming torch. This mood 
was rare with him, but it was in evidence upon not a few 
occasions in the total of his long life. 

It was sometimes called forth by persons who went 
to him for purposes of intrigue, attempting to make use 
of the great power of his office or his personal power for 
their own ends. Some of these persons wished to obtain 
the Church's sanction in some form for divorce proceed- 
ings. Others wished him to use improperly his influence 
over other churchmen or over public officials. Still others 
used pressure to induce him to commit ill judged acts. 

Like all men as conspicuous as he, he was naturally 
beset by no small number of persons of the crank type 
in one form or another, who possessed sufficient shrewd- 
ness to obtain access to him, or even obtained letters of 
introduction from good sources. Many men tried hard 
to sway him in behalf of, or in opposition to, some or- 
ganization which wished to derive benefit from the favor 
of the Church. His mood of resolute resistance to dan- 
gerous opposition was in clear evidence in the great fights 
which he waged. There was no more leonine opponent 
than Gibbons when aroused. Those who thought to 
cajole or trifle with him soon learned this to their cost. 


Gibbons' relations with Protestants were marked by 
complete consistency. He was never known to speak 
uncharitably of them or to them, and addressed them 
all as "brethren." Protestant ministers as well as lay- 
men being among his warmest personal friends, he showed 
no hesitation whatever in cooperating with them in good 
works. He was obviously willing to go to extraordinary 
lengths to avoid countenancing any unkind word about 
those who differed from him in creed. 

On one occasion when a group of Protestant clergymen 
who held periodical meetings in Baltimore had engaged 
in a discussion which bore rather severely upon the 
Catholic Church, a friend who talked with him on the 
subject expressed condemnation of this in strong terms 
which seemed to call for some response by Gibbons. The 
Cardinal struggled within himself between the desire 
not to pain his friend by complete silence on the subject, 
and a counterbalancing desire to say nothing which might 
appear to be uncharitable to Protestants. As the friend 
proceeded with his denunciation, it seemed almost too 
much to expect of human nature for the Cardinal not 
to make some kind of a response. At length he said, with 
the utmost forgiveness apparent in his manner as well 
as his voice: "Well, you know these ministers have to 
find topics to discuss at their meetings." This was the 



nearest approach, according to one intimately acquainted 
with him, which he was ever known to make toward un- 
friendly comment upon Protestants. 

His general attitude in reference to the subject was 
illustrated in a Christmas greeting which he was asked 
to prepare in 1911. The greeting read : 

"To all Christian brethren, a Merry Christmas. With 
the New Year may there dawn a reign of peace among 
the nations of the world. 

"James Cardinal Gibbons." 

His stand in this respect was all the more conspicuous, 
because he was the modern "Defender of the Faith," his 
book, The Faith of Our Fathers, having earned that title 
for him preeminently. 

He never sought precedence in assemblages where 
Protestant Bishops were present, but he himself bore 
testimony to the fact that he never failed to receive it on 
such occasions. One of the many instances when this 
question was directly presented to him was at the dedi- 
cation of a site for an industrial exposition which it was 
proposed to hold in Baltimore. Bishop Paret, of the 
Protestant Episcopal diocese of Maryland, a stanch up- 
holder of his own faith, who was sometimes disposed to 
be punctilious in asserting its prerogatives, was standing 
near the Cardinal when the procession for the dedication 
exercises was about to form. Perhaps embarrassed for a 
moment, he turned to the Cardinal and said : 

"Your Eminence, I do not know what is the custom in 
your church, but in my church the inferior precedes the 

With his beaming smile the Cardinal replied: "My 


dear brother, we will walk together," and he took Bishop 
Paret's arm as the procession moved. 

It will be observed that the Bishop addressed him as 
"your Eminence," which complied with ecclesiastical 
etiquette. The Cardinal, not wishing to address the 
Bishop by an inferior title, or by any shading of words 
to indicate that the question of precedence was involved, 
called him "my dear brother." 

One evening while the Cardinal was chatting with a 
friend in the quietude of his study, the subject of the 
relative precedence of civil and ecclesiastical authorities 
on public occasions, then recently brought to public at- 
tention by an incident in which he was not a participant, 
came up. The Cardinal sprang up from his chair, re- 
marking: "I will show you my rule in such matters." 

Walking to a bookshelf he took out a copy of the 
Bible and read the following from the fourteenth chap- 
ter of St. Luke : 

"And it came to pass, when Jesus went into the house 
of one of the chief of the Pharisees on the Sabbath day 
to eat bread that they watched him. 

"And he spoke a parable also to them that were in- 
vited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, 
saying to them : 

"When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in 
the first place; lest perhaps one more honorable than thou 
be invited by him; 

"And he that invited thee and him come and say to 
thee: Give this man place. And then thou begin with 
shame to take the lowest place. 

"But when thou art invited, go and sit down in the 
lowest place; that when he that invited thee cometh. 


he may say to thee : Friend, go up higher. Then shalt 

thou have glory before them that sit at table with thee. 

"Because every one that exalteth himself shall be 

humbled ; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." 

His liberality of view in regard to Protestants was 
strikingly shown in January, 1906, when the Baltimore 
committee of the Prohibition Party arranged a meeting 
in honor of W. H. Berry, then State Treasurer of Penn- 
sylvania, who had recently been elected triumphantly 
after a struggle against political corruption in that State. 
The Cardinal promptly accepted an invitation to serve as 
a vice-president of the meeting, being desirous of giving 
public recognition to Berry's fight against civic abuses, 
although he was not in sympathy with national prohibi- 
tion. The committee had intended to hold the meeting 
in a public hall, but later changed the place to Eutaw 
Street Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the historic 
buildings of Methodism in America, identified with 
memories of Francis Asbury. When it was decided to 
make this change, the committee, fearing an embarrassing 
incident, sent a letter to the Cardinal giving notice of 
it, and asking if, under the circumstances, he wished to 
have his name withdrawn from the list of officers. 

"The holding of a civic meeting in a Protestant 
church," he replied, "does not excite any religious scruples 
in me. I gladly allow the use of my name as one of 
the vice-presidents of the meeting." 

When the Cardinal appeared in the church, he was 
vigorously applauded. He expressed to Berry his warm 
commendation of the battle against political evils in 


Another illustration of the position which the Cardinal 
occupied in the hearts of his Protestant neighbors was 
given at a mass meeting in Brown Memorial Church, 
Baltimore, December 14, 1906, called to express disap- 
proval of the policy of Leopold, the Belgian King, in 
the Congo State. One of the speakers at the meeting was 
the Rev. H. Grattan Guinness, a leader in the Congo 
agitation in Great Britain, who had come to the United 
States for the purpose of endeavoring to induce the Wash- 
ington government to join England in intervention in 
the Congo. As a rule. Catholics defended the policy of 
King Leopold, reflecting the views of the large number 
of missionaries of their faith who were actively laboring 
among the natives. Gibbons on several occasions had 
expressed the same opinions, but he was not active in 
the controversy, and at no time interfered in it. His 
general position on the subject was shown in the follow- 
ing extract from a letter which he wrote to the Rev. 
Edward Everett Hale in October, 1904, expressing his 
regret at inability to attend a peace conference in Boston : 

"Had I been able to be present, I would have made it 
my duty to say a word in vindication of the policy of 
Belgium in the Congo State. The representatives of the 
different powers at the Berlin Conference were compelled 
to express their admiration and praise of the noble ideals 
of the founder of the Congo State and the splendid re- 
sults achieved through his humane policy." 

Guinness, after describing to the meeting in Baltimore 
conditions in the Congo from his point of view, said 
at the close of his address : 


"The United States and Britain, long ere this, would 
have got together and put an end to the atrocities in the 
Congo, but for one man in this country. The one strong 
hand that has been keeping this thing going is none other 
than that of Cardinal Gibbons." 

In some localities such a statement might have passed 
unnoticed ; but in the Baltimore Church there was a com- 
motion in an instant. Two of the most prominent Prot- 
estant pastors in the city rose to defend the Cardinal. 
They were the Rev. John T. Stone, a Presbyterian, pas- 
tor of the church in which the meeting was held, and the 
Rev. Wilbur F. Sheridan, pastor of Mount Vernon Place 
Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the leading congre- 
gations of that denomination in the city. Stone remarked 
earnestly that he greatly deplored the words of the 
speaker in reference to Cardinal Gibbons. Sheridan said : 

"Pardon me, I entertain a profound regard for Cardi- 
nal Gibbons, whom I admire for his catholicity of view. 
I cannot think that such can be the case." 

Guinness seemed dumfounded, but there was abundant 
evidence that the two Protestant ministers were express- 
ing the emphatic view of virtually all who were present. 
At the request of Stone, the English speaker modified his 
statement almost immediately from the platform, and 
left the church with a new view of the regard in which 
Cardinal Gibbons was held in his home city. 

Upon the occasion of Gibbons' forty-ninth anniversary 
in the priesthood, some tributes to him from Protestant 
pastors were printed in a Baltimore newspaper.* One 

' The Sun. 


of these was from the Rev. Dr. J. F. Heisse, formerly a 
presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
at that time one of the city pastors, who said : 

"As a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, I 
join with my brethren of the various religious denomi- 
nations in congratulating Cardinal Gibbons. . . . He 
has stood as a towering bulwark for civic and moral right- 
eousness in our midst. . . . Many years of happiness to 
this distinguished prelate of the Roman Catholic 

The tribute of the Rev. Dr. H. W. Schneeberger, 
rabbi of one of the principal Jewish temples of the city, 

"Regardless of faith, men should recognize godliness 
wherever found. Cardinal Gibbons' life has been a con- 
stant expression of good. He is a living example of un- 
selfishness. . . . Long life to the grand old man who 
'with malice toward none and charity for all' has labored 
so long and faithfully for the uplift of humanity." 

People of all creeds instinctively turned to the Cardi- 
nal to do favors for them, relying upon his kindness of 
heart. Among such were two Jewish residents of New 
York City, who decided to make a tour abroad. One of 
the plans which they formed was to obtain an audience 
with Pope Pius X, but they were at a loss as to how this 
could be arranged. At length the thought of soliciting 
Cardinal Gibbons' powerful aid came to them; but they 
realized that they had no claim upon the Cardinal's 

It occurred to them that they might obtain some assist- 
ance from a friend, Jacob Epstein, a Jewish merchant 


who had risen from small beginnings in Baltimore to the 
proprietorship of one of the largest wholesale establish- 
ments in that city. They applied to him. 

Epstein consulted one of the Cardinal's friends who 
he thought might have some influence, asking if anything 
could be done in the case. The friend, esteeming Epstein 
highly, and happening to know that the Cardinal also 
esteemed him for his numerous works of benevolence, 
agreed to undertake the mission. He obtained from 
Epstein the names of the two persons who wished to be 
received by the Pope, and proceeded to the Cardinal's 
residence, where he conveyed the request. Gibbons an- 
swered without a moment's hesitation : 

"I shall be happy to do what Mr. Epstein wishes, but' 
the request for the audience must come from the Arch- 
bishop of New York, as the persons who desire it reside 
in that diocese. I shall write at once a letter to the Arch- 
bishop, earnestly requesting that the favor be granted, 
and I have no doubt that he will comply." 

Calling his secretary, he dictated a letter in which he 
conveyed the request to the Archbishop with all the 
emphasis which he might have summoned in behalf of 
one of his closest personal friends. It was soon prepared 
for delivery to Epstein. Before the visitor departed, 
Gibbons remarked: 

"There is something else which I shall be glad if you 
will take to Mr. Epstein." 

Entering his bedroom, he soon emerged with a hand- 
some bronze medal, one of a comparatively small number 
designed by a sculptor of note in honor of his then recent 


golden jubilee as priest and his silver jubilee as Cardinal. 
He remarked: 

"Please present this to your friend with my compli- 
ments. I am glad to be able to send it to him. Tell 
him also that I have been happy to comply with his 

The Cardinal, knowing that Epstein was a lover of 
art, was well aware that the medal would be valued by 
its recipient for the excellence of the sculptor's work as 
well as for other considerations. The merchant treasured 
it for this reason, but still more for the kindness of heart 
and broad charity, knowing no religious barriers, which 
its presentation represented to him. 

Gibbons' fixed rule in doing good was to make no dis- 
tinction between those who thought as he did and those 
who thought differently. The greater the need, the 
greater the service which he sought to bestow. This lat- 
ter appeared to be the only general distinction which he 
was inclined to make. 


To a friend who inquired solicitously as to his health, 
Gibbons once said : "I am always at the work bench, and 
am too busy to be sick." His meaning was that he was 
so preoccupied that he desisted from his labors only under 
the pressure of prostrating illness, which, in his case, was 
rare. He suffered from almost innumerable attacks of 
slight sickness, to which his intense concentration upon 
his tasks prevented him from yielding. 

The general functions of his body were often so slug- 
gish that he worked for days and even weeks at a time 
against a serious handicap of impaired vigor. One of 
the illnesses from which he suffered rather frequently 
he used to call "a cold on the stomach." The phrase, as 
a description of a physical condition, had been in general 
use in his youth. It meant that he had caught cold and 
in the general physical decline which accompanies a cold 
the stomach, as the weakest organ, suffered most. His 
digestion was a barometer of his general health. 

Believing that the American people dose themselves 

with too many drugs, he often counteracted slight illness 

by doing what he called "starving himself" instead of 

resorting to medicine. On these occasions he would 

abstain resolutely from food for considerable periods, or 

take barely enough to prevent collapse. Meanwhile he 



continued his almost incessant work. He would become 
extraordinarily pale, but showed no other sign of physical 
exhaustion, and his mental activity was wholly un- 

With him, body and mind seemed to be divorced. His 
intellect was always robust and intensely active and 
appeared to be ready for the greatest tasks when his 
body was scarcely strong enough to undergo even small 

Almost all of his slight illnesses were traced directly 
to overwork, and as he possessed marvelous recuperative 
power they soon passed. Even a period of rest as scant 
as five minutes would refresh him to a marked degree 
after the performance of a long and fatiguing duty. 

His physician watched the distinguished patient care- 
fully, but Gibbons often failed to summon him when 
most men would have been disposed to do so. This was 
apparently for the reason that he wished to shun all 
thought of invalidism, and thus to avoid forming the 
habit of considering himself sick. Anxious thoughts of 
himself and of his own comfort and convenience had 
virtually no part in his outlook. It was evident that 
he formed a resolution rather early in life to do with 
the utmost diligence the work which fell to him, heed- 
ing not the consequences to himself, and that he was per- 
fectly willing to pass from this world when the summons 
came. He preferred that when it did ccHne it should find 
him at the post of duty. 

Exercise in the open air gave him strong muscles, even 
in old age. On a visit to New York when he was well 
past eighty several automobiles containing Church digni- 


taries awaited him at the railroad station, but he turned 
from their easy allurements and proposed a walk to the 
archiepiscopal residence, a mile and a half distant. Soon 
he was swinging up Fifth Avenue at a fast pace with a 
clerical companion, chatting vivaciously as he passed 
through the hurrying throng. 

There was something masterful in him that gave the 
appearance of physical as well as intellectual strength 
to not a few persons who came in contact with him for 
the first time. This deceptive impression was due to 
the exceptional robustness of his mind and the vigor and 
keenness denoted by his countenance, which distracted 
attention from the comparative frailness of the body. 
His motions were rapid and graceful, but there was in 
them no trace of nervousness or hurry. His nerves, like 
his mind, appeared to possess a giant's strength. 

In conversation when he was seventy-nine years old he 
spoke thus of his health and endurance after returning 
from a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, in the course of 
which the strain that he underwent was excessive: 

"My only pastorate, that at Canton, nearly broke me 
down. I was forced to officiate in two churches, several 
miles apart, on Sunday mornings, and as I celebrated a 
late Mass, I fasted every Sunday until one o'clock or 
later. When I was through with the last service, I could 
not eat, and sometimes felt as if I were ready to collapse. 
Down in North Carolina and Virginia, I habitually over- 
worked and overworried, going night and day. 

"After I succeeded to the See of Baltimore, I had some 
of the worst strains of all. The greatest was the Third 
Plenary Council, from the labor and responsibility of 
which I did not have a day's respite from the autumn of 


1883 to December, 1884. My hands trembled so greatly 
when I opened the Council that some of the prelates said 
I could not last through it. But [this with a smile] I 
did last through it and have outlasted every one of them." 

The visitor to whom he was speaking asked, "Were 
you equal to the demands upon you in Knoxville'?" 

"It was a long trip down there — eighteen hours — ^but 
on Friday night, after my arrival, I had a good sleep 
and that put me in better condition," the Cardinal re- 
plied. "On Saturday there were so many things to do 
that I became nervous and when I retired Saturday night, 
sleep could not be coaxed. I had begun to take cold, 
my limbs were seized with a cramp and I shivered all 
over. After enduring this for some time, a profuse per- 
spiration broke out. I scarcely had two hours' sleep that 
night, and as I had to preach twice the next day, I came 
near vowing that I would never be caught that way again. 
But the morning was bright and that helped to pick me 
up. I managed to get through everything that was as- 
signed to me and that night I slept nine hours. On Mon- 
day I was ready for anything." 

The visitor inquired, "How does your ability to un- 
dergo physical fatigue now compare with your capacity 
in middle lifer 

"It is fully as great," the Cardinal said, "except that I 
must be careful not to load myself with the necessity of 
too much sustained effort. I do not know to what my 
endurance should be attributed, unless it be to care of my- 
self and to moderation. Today I was reading of Mr. 
Spence [a Baltimore financier who had just passed his 
ninety-eighth birthday] and those things seem to be his 
reliance, also. I observed that he smokes four cigars a 


day, which is about my own allowance. No doubt I 
must have had a good deal of vitality even when I 
thought myself weakest. 

"There is a record of longevity in my family on my 
mother's side, although my father died comparatively 
young. My oldest sister is still living and my mother's 
father lived to a great age. Perhaps heredity accounts 
in some degree for the marvelous way in which I have 
been preserved. 

"Worry is what kills. My direct observation through- 
out my life is that this is the cause of most of the physical 
breakdowns. I have learned not to burden myself with 
undue solicitude for the morrow." 

Gibbons' eyesight was remarkable. Even in age he 
was able to read the finest type without the aid of glasses, 
although when reading at night by artificial light he 
often used spectacles. 

His favorite refuge when he needed a period of rest 
and recreation was at the homes of the Shriver 
family at Union Mills, seven miles from Westminster, 
one of the large towns of Maryland. There were 
two of these homes, that of T. Herbert Shriver, 
which the Cardinal used to call "The Lower House or 
the House of Commons" ; and that of B. Frank Shriver, 
a brother of the former, which he called "The Upper 
House or the House of Lords." They are situated in a 
region of rare rural beauty. The pious family life of the 
Shrivers was an inspiration to Gibbons, and the attention 
which they bestowed upon him made him always at ease 
when he was their guest. Of simple and unostentatious 
habits himself, and possessing a pronounced social in- 
stinct, he always felt at home in such a circle. 


He is shou-n seated with Bishop O'Connell. of Richmond, on the porch 
of the residence of B. Frank Shricer at Union Mills, Md. The photo- 
graph ivas taken in WIS. 


He had known the Shrivers since early days. Her- 
bert Shriver had attended St. Charles College in prepara- 
tion for the priesthood, but a serious physical injury com- 
pelled him to abandon that career. In 1868, the year in 
which Gibbons was made a Bishop, he celebrated the first 
Mass ever said in the family chapel at Union Mills. 
Herbert Shriver survived for many years and at his death 
Miss Mary O. Shriver presided over the home. 

When Gibbons was visiting at Union Mills he said 
Mass at seven o'clock every morning in the chapel. He 
wrote much, remaining in his room during a consider- 
able part of the day, but took long walks and always his 
after dinner nap, besides pitching quoits occasionally. 
He excelled in this latter sport, being considered one of 
the best players in Maryland. 

In the evening, after supper, the Cardinal joined the 
family group and chatted in high spirits, almost as of 
youth. In the personal affairs of the members of the 
household, including their progress in business life, he 
took a deep interest and he was their favorite friend and 
adviser. Often he entertained the group with some of 
the anecdotes of which he seemed to possess a never 
failing supply. 

For a number of years one of his favorite resorts for 
a brief rest in summer was Southampton, Long Island, 
where he was the guest of clerical friends. His presence 
at that seaside town usually attracted a number of visi- 
tors from New York, who attended Mass in the local 
church when he was present. Near-by are pleasant walks 
and drives, and the Cardinal found the air peculiarly con- 
ducive to rest and sleep. 


Still another refuge where he found rest and happiness 
in later years was the home of Martin Maloney at Spring 
Lake, New Jersey, where he received solicitous attention 
and often found relief from the heat in the middle of 
summer. Mr. Maloney was a Papal marquis, having re- 
ceived that honor on account of his many philanthropies. 

The Cardinal was accustomed to spend a part of every 
Lent in New Orleans with the surviving members of his 
family. When the centenary anniversary of the See. of 
New Orleans, the second in the United States, was ob- 
served in 1893, he took a prominent part in the services. 

Often duty required him to remain in Baltimore in 
midsummer. He found temporary relief during a portion 
of the day by sitting upon a little back porch attached to 
his residence, where there was usually a breeze, and where 
his gaze looked out over his beloved Cathedral. He 
would chat there in the afternoons with callers, clerical 
or lay, and the words of wisdom and helpfulness which 
fell from his lips on these occasions were treasured by 

The extent to which he continued his activity despite 
advancing years may be gathered from a summary of his 
labors in 1912, when he was seventy-eight years old. 
During that year he confirmed 7236 persons. This alone 
was a task of magnitude for a young man. Before or 
after confirmation ceremonies, he always preached and 
at the close held a reception for the parishioners. The 
largest class which he confirmed in that year consisted of 
636 persons. He went through the long ceremony of 
raising thirty-three young men to the priesthood, per- 
formed marriages, baptized a number of persons and heard 


confessions many times in the Cathedral, like any priest 
of his household. In addition, he was present at a num- 
ber of funerals. He conferred the pallium upon Arch- 
bishop Prendergast, of Philadelphia, made the long trip 
to Wichita, Kansas, to dedicate a Cathedral, and shared 
in all other important ceremonial events of general inter- 
est to the Church in the United States. During the year 
he did not fail to continue to take part, as usual, in public 
activities, the most notable of which was the offering of 
the opening prayer at the Democratic National Conven- 
tion in Baltimore. 

Late in Gibbons' life some of the younger priests of the 
Baltimore diocese wished a coadjutor Archbishop to be 
appointed, but his resolute action prevented the plan from 
being carried into effect, although he consented to accept 
the services of an auxiliary Bishop. He felt fully equal 
— indeed there could be no doubt that he was equal — to 
the task that he carried on so long and with such signal 
success that the number of churches in the diocese was 
tripled during his incumbency. Like many who possess 
in a marked degree the traits of a commander, he was 
not disposed to share his authority. 

His life was seriously imperiled by a driving accident 
in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, July 30, 1891. When 
he was elevated to the cardinalate, the clergy of the dio- 
cese presented to him a two-seated brougham, which he 
kept at the public stable of James Martin, near his resi- 
dence, as he could not be persuaded to maintain a private 
livery. If occasion required a drive, he used horses hired 
from Martin; and in summer he sometimes enjoyed the 
air of the park with Martin on the box of his carriage. 


On this occasion Martin was driving homeward when 
the pole of the brougham broke and the horses began a 
mad flight. The driver's utmost efforts were not suffi- 
cient to check them, but he was able to keep them in the 
road. After they had dashed ahead fully three quarters 
of a mile, they approached a large stone gateway, which 
then stood at the Mount Royal entrance of the park, and 
Martin guided them against it, stopping their flight and 
severely injuring them by the impact. Gibbons, who had 
remained calm, though he fully realized his danger, 
alighted unhurt and was taken to his residence in an- 
other carriage which passed. 

He was keenly conscious that the driver's courage, cool- 
ness and skill had saved his life, and, as a mark of grati- 
tude, presented to Martin one of two large gold medals 
which he had received from Leo XIII, bearing on one side 
a bas-relief portrait of the Pontiff and on the other an 
interior view of the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. He 
had these words engraved upon the medal in addition to 
the previous inscription: 

"Presented to James Martin, Jr., by his Eminence 
Cardinal Gibbons, August i, 1891, as a recognition of 
his courage and self-possession displayed July 30, 1891." 

For many years Martin continued to drive him, and he 
always felt safe in the hands of that devoted and intrepid 

Although accustomed to making long journeys by rail- 
road and steamship for many years, he was never injured 
by accident on land or sea. While returning from New 
Orleans November 16, 1899, after performing the cere- 


mony of the marriage of his niece, Katherine, a daughter 
of his brother, John T. Gibbons, he had a narrow escape 
at Pleasure Ridge Park, near Louisville, Kentucky. His 
train was in a collision in which five persons were severely 
hurt. Gibbons was at breakfast when the table was 
thrown to one side, the dishes were scattered and all 
of those in the car were severely shaken. He was able 
to retain his seat, but persons who were near him were 
hurled from their chairs by the impact. 


Anecdotes flowed from Gibbons in a double sense. 
He was one of the best of story-tellers, and he was the 
subject of far more stories than he told. Wherever he 
went he gave rise to anecdotes of himself which threw 
real light upon his character. So exceptionally large was 
the number of them that a relation of some of those which 
have been verified will throw useful — perhaps even neces- 
sary — light upon his personality. 

That these anecdotes were so voluminous and varied 
was due to the force of his individuality and to the versa- 
tility of his reach. Most of them were circulated by 
members of his household or by prelates, clergy and lay- 
men from outside who came in close contact with him in 
Baltimore. But wherever he went — Rome, Washington, 
New York, Chicago, New Orleans and elsewhere — they 
seemed to spring up abundantly. 

His life was full of the picturesque and unusual at 
all times. The ordinary ways of men were not his ways. 
His marked personality was evident even to a cursory 

*The sources of the stories of Cardinal Gibbons as given here are 
conversations with him, personal observations by the author, accounts by 
some of the Cardinal's closest friends, and the book Cardinal Gibbons, 
Churchman and Citizen, by Smith and Fitzpatrick. All of these stories 
have been fully confirmed, except in some cases as to the dialogue, which 
is naturally the version of the person who related the anecdote. In 



A large proportion of the stories that were told of him 
concerned children, whose artless natures he fathomed 
with rare comprehension and in whose company he always 
took especial delight. His playfulness with altar boys 
outside of church was a commonplace fact to his entou- 
rage, but persons who saw instances of it for the first time 
were much impressed. Two of these boys were sent to 
his study to accompany him to the Cathedral a few min- 
utes before each service there in which he took part. Any 
one unaware of what almost invariably followed their 
arrival would have been puzzled to see them approaching 
the private room of the distinguished churchman beaming 
with smiles of anticipation. The reason was soon ap- 
parent. When he opened the door in response to their 
gentle knock, he would assume a half-quizzical expres- 
sion of playful surprise and would greet them with some 
such remark as this: 

"Gentlemen, to what am I indebted for the honor of 
this visits Dee-lighted, as Mr. Roosevelt would say." 

Knowing the fondness of children for innocent plays 
of make-believe. Gibbons would keep up his raillery for 
some minutes. There was usually a little time to wait 
before starting for the Cathedral, and he would sink into 
one of the big chairs in his room, perhaps beside his bay 
window, and amuse the boys and himself in the interval 
by propounding conundrums and finally giving the an- 
swers. The lads, in high glee, showed no trace of em- 
barrassment, but talked to and laughed with Gibbons 

every case, however, the dialogue represents the Cardinal's customary 
manner of speaking. A number of anecdotes of him have been given 
on previous pages of this work where they seemed apropos of some 
particular subject. 


as if he had been a benevolent relative, familiar to their 
sight, who knew how to interest and please them. 

After the service, it was the duty of the boys to accom- 
pany him back to his residence. As they reached the foot 
of the stairs leading to his study he would often put his 
arms around their necks and trip rapidly upward with 
them. Occasionally, if the boys were small, he would 
lift one of them under each arm and carry them bodily 
up the steps. At the top he would place them on their 
feet again and go with them to his study, where there was 
a further happy interchange of dialogue adapted to boy- 
ish fancy. Before they left, he always gave each of them 
a little present, usually a book or a box of candy. 

He was often in a merry mood also with his "door 
boys," the young ushers who received the cards of visi- 
tors and took them to him or to other members of his 
household. A friend who was accustomed to call upon 
him frequently in the evenings usually telephoned to the 
archiepiscopal residence in advance to learn if the Car- 
dinal would be at home. Sometimes it was the door boy 
who answered the telephone, and on one occasion of that 
kind the Cardinal's friend found that a new boy had 
been installed. The lad carried the message as usual to 
Gibbons' room, and returned with the reply that he 
would be at home. Upon arriving at the archiepiscopal 
residence that evening, the front door was opened for the 
Cardinal's friend by the new usher, to whom he said: 

"Did you tell his Eminence that I would call?" 

"Yes," was the reply. 

"What did he say?" was the next inquiry. 


"Oh," the door boy responded, "he said, 'Well, have 
you any objection^' I told him 'No'; and he said it 
would be all right." 

Most of the door boys remained at the Cardinal's resi- 
dence several years each. As they became older, he ob- 
tained, where it was helpful to do so, positions in which 
they could advance themselves in some useful line of 
work. Not infrequently he gave them gratuities which 
he called "spending change." 

His interest in children was also shown by his solici- 
tude for Catholic institutions conducted for their welfare 
in the diocese of Baltimore, and even for the individuals 
who were cared for in those institutions. One day in 
June, 1911, he attended a meeting of those interested in 
St. James' Home for Boys. While there, among the waifs 
of the city, he was reminded that at almost the same time 
on the preceding day he had dined with President Taft 
at the White House. In the course of his visit to the 
boys he made a speech to them, telling them that Lincoln 
had chopped wood and Garfield had driven a mule on a 
canal path. "The moral of this," he said, "is that boys, 
no matter what their condition in youth, can attain high 
stations in life." 

He was accustomed to visit St. James' Home several 
times a year to talk with the boys, among whom his per- 
sonal influence amounted to much. They loved and re- 
vered him, considering him a stanch friend and a pat- 
tern of manliness and courtesy, as well as a model Ameri- 
can, for he liked to inculcate patriotism in the young. 
In addition to this, he received reports of progress at the 


Home. When Brother Leo, the director of the institu- 
tion, called upon him at his residence at one time to pre- 
sent a report of that kind Gibbons asked : 

"How many boys are there at the home'?" 

"Sixty-seven," the director answered. 

"How many are at work*?" was the next question. 

The director replied with satisfaction: "All are at 
work, and employment could be found for twenty-five 

Gibbons' exclamation "Thanks be to God !" could not 
have been more fervent if some great event had been the 
cause of it. 

His zeal was also exceptional for the welfare of the 
lads at St. Mary's Industrial School in his home city. 
The discipline of the school was naturally an important 
consideration, and, as at St. James' Home, his direct in- 
fluence was an important part of it. 

An incident which illustrated this occurred in May, 
1908. A little before that time some incorrigible boys 
who were in custody at a State reformatory in Maryland 
had escaped from the institution, and it was charged that 
when they were recaptured they were cruelly beaten with 
a leather strap. The Baltimore newspapers contained 
long accounts of the charges and of the subsequent official 
investigation. This was not lost upon the Cardinal, who 
was intensely alert as to everything going on around him. 

A short time afterward two boys at St. Mary's Indus- 
trial School caught the fever of trying to escape. They 
overpowered a watchman in their dormitory by means of 
a surprise attack, seized the keys from him when he was 
helpless, and made a dash to open the way not only for 


themselves, but for the others in the dormitory to break 
out. The other boys, however, gave a convincing demon- 
stration of their loyalty to the institution which was 
caring for them by pouncing upon the two would-be 
leaders, taking the keys from them and giving them a 

The next day the newspapers printed full accounts of 
this affair, which was supposed to have especial interest 
for the public mind because of the current stories charg- 
ing cruelty at the institution of the same kind maintained 
by the State. Gibbons read these accounts with deep 
anxiety. He learned that the offenders had been placed 
in temporary confinement, and that the final action to be 
taken in their cases was as yet undecided by Brother 
Paul, his close friend, the director of the Industrial 

Several days later the Cardinal visited the school, and 
confirmed two hundred boys. The attempt to escape 
weighed upon his mind, and he sent for the two offenders. 
They were brought into his presence expecting to receive 
an austere reproof which would add to their humiliation 
and cause their punishment to be more galling. But the 
simple, kindly man, whose red cap showed his rank, did 
the unexpected — to the boys. It happened that they were 
Protestants, for though St. Mary's is chiefly for Catholic 
boys, some non-Catholics were committed there by Mary- 
land magistrates when they could not be cared for else- 

Abashed at first, they listened with wonder as the 
Cardinal began to speak to them in sympathetic, fatherly 
tones. This was the substance of what he said : 


"Boys, you are very young yet, and do not know as 
much about your duty to others as older persons are ex- 
pected to know. Perhaps without realizing it, you have 
done a great wrong to that poor watchman. He was here 
to protect you at night, not to harm you in any way. If 
a fire had broken out, he would have given the alarm in 
order that your lives might have been saved. He guarded 
you while you slept, that no harm of any kind might come 
to you. 

"The school does not keep you here because it wants 
to restrain you, but because you have been adjudged in- 
corrigible by a court of law, and the school, instead of 
punishing you, is giving you a chance to learn to be good 
and useful men. You need more than anything else, just 
now, the friendly aid you are receiving here from these 
good Brothers. I am sure you did not know what you 
were, doing when you harmed your own protector." 

By this time not a trace of the bravado which the boys 
had formerly shown remained. They were weeping and 
thoroughly penitent. The colloquy continued along these 
lines : 

The Cardinal — Brother Paul, I think these boys are 
sorry for what they have done and will never do it again. 
I will undertake to say that they will be good boys in 
future. Will you let them off from punishment for me*? 

Brother Paul (overwhelmed) — Yes, your Eminence. 

The Cardinal — I am very glad of that. And now. 
Brother Paul, as the boys of the school have all been 
through a strain, caused by the trouble that is now hap- 
pily over, will you give them a holiday*? 

Brother Paul — I will, your Eminence. 

In addition to the holiday, the Cardinal directed that 
the boys be regaled with ice cream at his expense. Need- 


less to say, no charges of cruelty developed out of the 
escape at that school. Both of the boys became useful 
and respected men. 

Gibbons paid occasional visits to the Juvenile Court 
of Baltimore and sat with the judge on the bench. In the 
case of a particularly good judge who was deeply inter- 
ested in children and was both merciful and helpful to 
them, he urged the Governor of Maryland to reappoint 
him, and this was done. 

Some parents, knowing his interest in boys, called upon 
him to solicit his direct help so that the publicity of court 
action in committing their children to institutions might 
be avoided. In cases where it seemed proper to do so, he 
was always disposed to give them cards or notes to re- 
formatories, which were sufficient to obtain entrance for 
the boys and proper oversight of them. 

At the Christmas season of 1912, he was the Santa 
Claus for one hundred children at St. Mary's Asylum, 
Baltimore, presenting to each of them a toy and a box of 
candy and fruit. The children there were only a little 
advanced beyond infancy, but they were old enough to 
give a simple entertainment under the direction of the 
Sisters in charge, and the Cardinal watched it through- 
out, seeming to take delight in it. When the Sisters an- 
nounced that he was "to be the Santa Claus," he went 
upon a stage which had been erected and his face beamed 
as he made a happy address, adapted to childish minds, 
expressing his satisfaction with the excellent care which 
the little ones were receiving. 

A man once called upon Gibbons accompanied by 
some children who wished to present to him specimens 


of their handiwork, in which they took especial satisfac- 
tion. It pleased them to think that they could give these 
things, simple as they were, to the Cardinal. The man 
who was with them made a short speech of presentation 
in which, from the best motives, he spoke disparagingly 
of the value of the gifts, but urged the Cardinal to re- 
ceive them because they had been made by little folk who 
loved him. 

Apparently the children had not realized before that 
the gifts which they brought had no especial value, and 
the sudden revelation of this to them from the words 
of the speaker almost brought tears to their eyes. Gib- 
bons' quick observation took in this. When the address 
of presentation had been concluded he picked up the 
gifts one by one, examined them with an appearance of 
admiration and exclaimed over and over: 

"Aren't they wonderful I" 

Every trace of weeping faded from the faces of the 
children, and their delight knew no bounds when he 
made a graceful speech of thanks to them. 

After Gibbons attended the funeral of Bishop Van de 
Vyver, of Richmond, there was time for him to take a 
walk. He decided to visit the institution of the Little 
Sisters of the Poor in that city, in which he was inter- 
ested, but he did not know the way there. Meeting a 
boy near the church, he asked to be directed. The lad 
accompanied him to the institution, and they had a cor- 
dial chat as they threaded their way through the streets, 
the lad thus receiving a share of attention with which men 
prominent in any station of life would have been honored. 

Gibbons was always glad to hear the confessions of 


children. The daughter of a Baltimore banker brought 
her little daughter, seven years old, to the archiepiscopal 
residence on one occasion for her first confession. One of 
the priests attempted to receive the confession, but the 
child was tirnid and agitated and could not be induced to 
go through with it. At that stage the Cardinal appeared 
and inquired what was the matter. Learning the situa- 
tion, he spoke kindly to the child, soothed her com- 
pletely, and heard the confession himself. 

When the Convent of the Oblate Sisters of Providence 
in Baltimore was much damaged by a fire ^ from which 
160 negro children who were in their care were rescued, 
Gibbons hastened to the scene and consoled both the Sis- 
ters and their little charges. Going from one nun to an- 
other, he spoke words of encouragement, and promised 
to help in obtaining funds for the rebuilding. The 
children had seen the Cardinal on several occasions and 
they crowded around him, receiving expressions of his 
sympathy and his joy at the fact that all had escaped 
in safety. His presence restored calmness and courage 
to them. 

A husband and wife, the latter carrying a baby, ap- 
plied at his residence one afternoon for the privilege of 
making confession to a priest. The usher at the door 
informed them that the priests were resting, but that one 
of them would be downstairs in a short time. The hus- 
band persisted, saying that he lived in the suburbs of 
Baltimore, must return home before it grew late and 
could not delay. The usher went to the private apart- 
ments in the house to learn if the services of any of the 

* 1912. 


priests could be obtained. He soon returned saying that 
the Cardinal had volunteered and would hear the con- 
fessions. This plunged the couple in a panic. 

"I will not go to the Cardinal," said the husband. 

"Neither will I," said the wife; "why did you get 

"The priests are all resting, and he offered to come 
down," answered the usher. 

Before the couple could withdraw, the Cardinal ap- 
peared. They were so overcome that their embarrass- 
ment was painful. The Cardinal simply bowed his head 
and neither by word nor act added ta the confusion of 
the penitents. At first they forgot what to say, but at 
length contrived to make their confessions and left. Be- 
fore departing, the wife said to one who was near-by: 

"I am so glad that I went for confession to the Car- 
dinal. It is a great honor, and he was so kind and gentle ; 
besides, I feel so comforted after the instruction and 
advice he gave me. He made me see so clearly, and is 
one of the best confessors I ever met. I just thought that 
I could not go to him, but now I would not take anything 
for the recollection of this day." 

Gibbons was always pained when in the course of his 
many journeyings he found persons who were embar- 
rassed — and they were by no means few — by awe of him 
on account of his office. A story was told of one of his 
episcopal trips, in the course of which he took breakfast 
at the home of one of the principal residents, who may 
be called Mr. Jones. Neither the host nor the hostess 
appeared at the table, and when he inquired where they 
were the butler reluctantly replied that they were too 


diffident to eat in the presence of the Cardinal. The 
eminent guest sent his companion, who may be desig- 
nated as Mr. Brown, to make inquiries. 

"What," exclaimed the host, "take breakfast with the 
Cardinal ■? No, sir! I wouldn't know what to do nor 
what to say. I couldn't eat a mouthful. I wouldn't 
know whether I was standing on my head or my heels. 
No, sir!" 

The host was told that the Cardinal was one of the 
gentlest and most unassuming of men; that he had been 
complimenting the cooking, and that it was rude to refuse 
to eat with him. The only answer was, "No, sir!" 

"You don't mind me," said Mr. Brown; "why would 
you be embarrassed by the Cardinal?" 

"Well, Mr. Brown," he replied, "you're only an edi- 
tor, and I'm used to editors ; but there's only one Cardinal 
in this country, and I wouldn't know how to act in his 
company. No, sir!" 

"Well, perhaps Mrs. Jones might like to " 

"No, sir, Mrs. Jones wouldn't. She's just as upset as 
I am." 

"What shall I tell his Eminence?" 

"Make my excuses; tell him I feel honored at having 
him as my guest ; beg him to make himself at home, and 
thank him for inviting me to sit at the table with him; 
but tell him I couldn't do it. No, sir!" 

When Mr. Brown related what had happened, the 
Cardinal was distressed at his host's unnecessary agita- 
tion, but made the best of the situation. 

After breakfast, a church was dedicated, and the Car- 
dinal held an informal reception. The local pastor took 


him back to dinner at Mr. Jones'. The meal was on the 
table, smoking hot, but neither host nor hostess appeared. 

After the butler had served dinner, Mr. Brown re- 
membered that the Cardinal was in the habit of taking 
a nap at that time of day, and went to hunt Mr. Jones. 
The host was found marching up and down on the far 
side of the garden. Mr. Brown thanked him for a very 
good dirmer, and then said : 

"Mr. Jones, the Cardinal would like to take a nap." 

"Oh! I have no bed good enough for a Cardinal, Mr. 

"The bed I occupied last night would do tip-top." 

"Would it, Mr. Brown ^ Well, how shall we get him 
up there*?" 

"You go up with him and show him the way." 

"Me*? No, sir I I wouldn't do that." 

"Well, go and see if the bed has been made up; then 
come down and tell me, and I'll show him the way." 

"Oh! yes, I'll do that gladly, Mr. Brown." 

The host ascended to the bedroom and came down to 
report that the room was in perfect order. Then he darted 
out the back door and into the garden again, as if an ogre 
were after him. 

The Cardinal had his nap; as he left the house in the 
afternoon, there was no one to bid him good-by, the whole 
family being still in hiding. 

One of the many persons who wrote long communica- 
tions to the Cardinal concerning more or less abnormal 
ideas about religion was a woman in the West. At first 
he paid some attention to her communications, but as 
they increased in number and length, he discarded them. 


throwing them into his waste basket as soon as he opened 
the envelopes and recognized the handwriting. One day 
a Sister who assisted in household duties at the archiepis- 
copal residence said to him: 

"Your Eminence, you tore up one hundred dollars this 

Gibbons, greatly surprised, learned that the diligent 
Sister had found the remains of a torn one hundred dol- 
lar bill in the waste basket, accompanying the fragments 
of the latest letter received from the western woman. It 
appeared that the woman, hoping to attract notice to her 
communications on the part of the Cardinal, had adopted 
the expedient of sending him that amount to be used in 
good works. One of his friends used to jest with him 
on this subject occasionally, saying: 

"Your Eminence, have you torn up any hundred dol- 
lar bills this morning'?" 

The Rev. Dr. H. Allen Tupper, formerly a Baptist 
minister in Baltimore, was greatly impressed one day by 
seeing the Cardinal pause on the street to speak to a 
ragged and dirty negro boy. The Cardinal put his hand 
on the boy's head, smiled, bestowed a few kindly words, 
and gave him a blessing. "What a picture for an artist I" 
Dr. Tupper commented in relating the story. 

Another negro boy, who worked for a time at Gibbons' 
residence, was a brother of twins. In his exultation he 
used to tell stories of these twins to the Cardinal, who 
was always willing to listen to them. When the Car- 
dinal would see the boy in the morning he would ask: 
"How are the twins coming along *?" 

Later one of the twins died, and the brother was grief- 


stricken. The same day while returning in a motor car 
from a church celebration in Baltimore, wearing his robes, 
the Cardinal directed that the vehicle be driven to the 
home of the mother of the twins, in an alley, for the 
purpose of offering her, as he said, "a few consoling 
words." His presence in such a locality naturally caused 
a commotion, and a crowd rushed to the little house when 
the Cardinal went inside and expressed his deep sympathy 
for the negro family in his inimitable way. 

One of the rare instances in which Gibbons adminis- 
tered stern reproofs was when a priest in the archiepisco- 
pal household presented to him a certain letter for signa- 
ture. He declined to sign it, saying that little or no judg- 
ment was displayed in asking him to do so. A short time 
later Gibbons went to the door of the priest's study, 
opened it and said : "Father, I wish to apologize for hav- 
ing spoken to you so sharply this morning." 

While he was visiting in New Orleans, a young mar- 
ried woman obtained her father's permission to give a 
dinner at the latter's home in his honor, and invited a 
number of distinguished guests, including Archbishop 
Janssens, several clergymen and a number of persons 
socially prominent in the city. Gibbons accepted. When 
he arrived he found that the dinner table was decorated 
to an unusual degree with flowers. One of the impor- 
tant guests said to the hostess: "Take away the flowers; 
I cannot see the people for them." 

She was much embarrassed at the lack of appreciation 
of her effort to beautify the table, but began to remove 
the flowers when Gibbons, observing her distress, greatly 


lessened it by saying to her with one of his beaming 
smiles : 

"Madam, the light of your countenance is sufficient 
for us." 

At a dinner in Washington at which a number of 
United States senators were present, Senator Bayard, 
afterward Secretary of State, deplored in a conversation 
with Gibbons that the public addresses of legislators were 
delivered under restrictions that were often severe. He 

"Ministers of religion like yourself have a great ad- 
vantage over us. You can talk as long as you please, you 
can say what you please, you can upbraid if you please, 
and you are heard with silent respect without fear of 
contradiction, while we are liable to be interrupted by 
frequent rejoinders and interpellations." 

The Cardinal playfully replied: "We have a clear 
field because we are always expected to tell the truth, 
the whole truth and nothing but the truth." 

Another story told of him is that he once summoned 
to his residence a man who held a high position in public 
life in Baltimore to say that one of his friends, a man of 
education, refinement and character, was in need of a 
position. The official promptly responded : "Your Emi- 
nence, send your friend to me, and I will have a position 
ready for him." To his surprise, he found that the Car- 
dinal's friend was a retired Protestant minister. 

When Gibbons preached at the Baltimore Cathedral, 
he almost always asked the choir to sing "Lead, Kindly 
Light." This was his favorite hymn. It expressed at 
once the philosophy of his life and the unfailing hope 


which sustained him. When he preached, the leader of 
the choir was always alert to receive the Cardinal's sig- 
nal to give the beautiful words and music of Cardinal 
Newman's consoling verses. 


In considering the elements of greatness which Car- 
dinal Gibbons possessed — and all of those who knew 
him with sufficient intimacy to judge attributed to him 
at least some of those elements — we are confronted at the 
outset by the fact that many persons found him by no 
means easy to understand. His nature seemed to be too 
wide and deep for comprehension at one glance, or indeed 
at many glances. This was all the more evident because 
he habitually concealed his strongest traits until there 
was the necessity to use them. 

To those behind the scenes, as it were, it was apparent 
that one of his chief concerns, amounting to a clearly 
marked personal characteristic, was to avoid the appear- 
ance of overshadowing others. He wished no one, even 
the humblest, to be constrained or embarrassed in his 
presence and to a degree truly extraordinary was "all 
things to all men." Those of the largest mold who came 
in close contact with him — Popes, Presidents, statesmen, 
men of great affairs generally — rated him highest, while 
a child with whom he might romp would be disposed to 
say that he was only an excellent playmate. It is sig- 
nificant that among those who cherished the highest ad- 
miration for him and reposed the greatest confidence in 



his powers were Leo XIII, Manning, Rampolla, Cleve- 
land and Roosevelt. 

In estimating the elements of greatness which he pos- 
sessed we may divide the aspects in which he presented 
himself to his contemporaries into the classifications of 
character, general achievement, churchmanship, states- 
manship, authorship, intellect and personality. Light 
upon these points in detail will afford some perspective 
for a general and composite opinion. 

Americans have shown a marked preference for con- 
sidering the possession of high and strong character as 
the first essential of true greatness. Their history as a 
nation affords ample evidence of a certain difference of 
viewpoint in this respect from Europeans. Their favor- 
ites, obviously, are Washington and Lincoln. In dwell- 
ing upon the merits of these men the sublimity of their 
characters is usually emphasized above all other consid- 
erations. The benignity, steadfastness, unselfish patri- 
otism and fortitude of Washington are held up as an 
example to every pupil in the schools. Lincoln's bound- 
less pity, his "malice toward none and charity for all," 
the self-effacing modesty which caused him to dwell 
upon his humble origin when he had risen to heights of 
greatness in the world's eyes, and his patient endurance 
of adversity overshadow in the public mind the execu- 
tive gifts which he displayed during four of the most try- 
ing years of war which man ever faced. Looking back 
to the beginning of the national history of America, the 
first men whom the people considered great — Washing- 
ton, Franklin, Jefferson and Hamilton — were distin- 
guished preeminently by traits of character. 


Gibbons, though he often heard others call him great, 
never showed any wish to be so considered. Had he done 
so, undoubtedly he would have made it plain that he 
preferred to be deemed great in character and that he 
esteemed lightly, or not at all, a verdict of greatness in 
any other respect. 

The aspect of his character which was most evident 
to every observer was simplicity. That simplicity was 
profound, all pervading. He never lost it in his greatest 
moments or those which were most commonplace. His 
thoughts moved along easy and direct channels. No 
intricate and tortuous bed obstructed their limpid 
stream. His mind reduced everything — acts, motives, 
projects of great potency to humanity no less than the 
primary problems of his office as a priest — to their ele- 
ments. He was almost childlike — indeed, was childlike 
at many times and regarding many things. If it were left 
to the judgment of those who were closest to him when 
he was in his prime to say whether or not his simplicity 
amounted to sublimity, their answer would be an almost 
unanimous affirmative. 

A strongly defined trait which blended with his sim- 
plicity was his unselfishness. For himself he sought 
nothing of reward, even in honor and fame, of which at 
times, indeed, he appeared to possess too much for his 
liking. He rigidly excluded from his personal horizon 
all thoughts of ease or luxury, and devoted himself with 
single-minded purpose to labors in behalf of others, whose 
fruits would be seen in others. 

So great was his simplicity of life that even the per- 
quisites which other Cardinals customarily possess and 


which are considered essential to the dignity of their 
office he discarded to the utmost extent possible. He 
would not keep a private livery in the days of the horse 
and carriage. Although extremely fond later of the mo- 
tor car, principally because of his lifelong habit of being 
in the open air as much as possible, he would neither 
buy one nor consent to accept one as a present, although 
almost innumerable offers of that kind were pressed upon 
him. All his personal habits were frugal. The materials 
of his clothing were of the plainest sort and not infre- 
quently showed signs of long wear, although he pos- 
sessed a considerable zest for neatness of appearance and 
surroundings. All that was given to him and all that 
he earned by his own labors as an author he bestowed in 
works of benevolence upon others. 

He was forgiving, as few men are, even to the extent 
of making enemies, or at least of raising up critics by his 
habitual attitude of forbearance to others. It seemed 
that he was incapable of retaining uncharitable thoughts 
or of remembering injury or antagonism. His clerical 
critics were few but usually rather vigorous in their 
expressions. Some of them were associated with him in 
his household at various times, and it was noticeable that 
a considerable proportion of their complaints arose from 
the fact that he exercised tolerance and charity which 
went beyond what they considered to be the requirements 
of strict justice. 

There were several instances of priests in his dioceses 
who erred through mere weaknesses or mistakes of judg- 
ment which harmed only themselves. These men he 
would never punish severely, although he removed them 


from positions where their acts might affect others. Like 
his Divine Master, he would forgive them not only seven 
times, but seventy times seven. 

He could not be moved to sustained anger, although 
at times when an attempt was made to frustrate some of 
his purposes he showed temporary petulance. This soon 
passed like a thunder shower, and he indicated no remem- 
brance of it afterward in his conversation or dealing with 
the individual who had provoked him. 

He possessed a sense of justice and fairness which 
seemed to be sufficient to penetrate the thickest clouds. 
Many a man, priest or layman, found reliance in this 
when others were ready to condemn. 

He did not care whether or not his judgments were 
approved by others as individuals or in the mass. Once 
he formed a definite conception of the right, he was as 
immovable as a rock. 

In fact, his steadfastness was the one overwhelming 
trait which enabled him to accomplish the labors to 
which he devoted his life. A man of less persistence in 
the face of misunderstandings and other obstacles could 
never have succeeded in inducing the Congregation of the 
Holy Office to reverse its condemnation of the Knights 
of Labor, and could never have stemmed the tide of 
Cahenslyism, with its threat of forcing upon the Catholic 
Church in America assent to the permanency of large 
compact units of European nationalism transferred to 
these shores by immigration. A man who relied only 
upon faith in his own ideas could never have endured 
with the fortitude which Gibbons showed in some of his 
greater struggles. The one thing which sustained him 


when all others failed was his simple and unshakable 
belief in the direct guidance of the affairs of men by 
Divine Providence. 

Of the honor of the Church Gibbons was as jealous as 
Chevalier Bayard was of personal honor. The only two 
occasions in his long life when he seemed to be dismayed 
were when the Catholic University lost temporarily 
$850,000 of its investments through the failure in busi- 
ness in 1904 of Thomas E. Waggaman, its treasurer, and 
when a priest in Baltimore in an ill-considered effort to 
raise money for a new church became overwhelmed by 
debts through speculation. Neither of these deplorable 
incidents, of course, could affect the Catholic Church in 
general in any adverse way, as they were merely isolated 
conditions; nevertheless in his extreme solicitude for the 
Church, Gibbons regarded them as almost blighting per- 
sonal misfortunes. His self-control and optimism wav- 
ered momentarily; but when the loss was repaired, chiefly 
through his own efforts, his serenity returned. 

Few men were as nearly devoid of vanity as he. As all 
men could not understand him, he appreciated under- 
standing when he found it, but this feeling seemed to be 
entirely dissociated from vanity. Even in his youth, as 
has been seen, he did not try to advance himself in the 
Church; he even resisted advancement when it was 
forced upon him by others. Never was he known to ex- 
press any estimate of his own powers except by way of 
deprecation. In The Ambassador of Christ he wrote this 
remarkable sentence : "I have never spent a considerable 
time in the company of priest or layman without form- 


ing comparisons to his advantage and to my own dis- 
paragement." ^ 

His humility was not of the kind which expresses itself 
in a long face and a general aspect of gloom. He was 
cheerfulness itself in his habitual moods and seemed never 
so happy as when performing a simple service in a hum- 
ble capacity. He would visit the sick or relieve an un- 
fortunate person's want with far more alacrity than he 
would show in appearing in a role of honor at the Vatican 
or the White House. 

Overshadowing all his personal conduct was his gen- 
tleness. Although it was evident that he radiated force 
of character from his person, it was not a destructive 
force. It was remarked of him that in all relations of 
life he seemed the true gentleman. He spoke commonly 
in moderately low and pleasing tones, and his movements 
were never jerky or demonstrative. 

In the acts of piety which belong to the priesthood, the 
celebration of Masses, prayer and Scriptural readings 
and exercises, it is doubtful if any clergyman in America 
showed more fervor or used more of each day in per- 
sonal devotions than Gibbons. This was to him the 
foundation of everything that he did, and he never neg- 
lected it or even modified it under the pressure of any 
public duty, no matter how exacting. 

If character is the cornerstone of greatness, accomplish- 
ment is obviously one of its main pillars. Gibbons' life 
having been devoted chiefly to bringing about a compara- 
tively few great and general results, we may consider in 

* The Ambassador of Christ, p. i6o. 


detail how far he succeeded in his aims and the range of 
their usefulness and importance to humanity. First of 
all, it may be said that he shared with Leo XIII and 
Manning the dominant leadership in thought and action 
in the Catholic Church throughout the world in one of 
her most fruitful periods in modern times. Manning died 
in 189,2. For eleven years after that Leo and Gibbons 
were the giants of the Church; then in 19.03 Leo passed, 
and Gibbons stood alone for nearly a score of years, the 
foremost personality, under the Popes, of her Hierarchy 
in the world. 

Those three men, more than all others, guided the 
Church's external policies in the direction of liberalism 
in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, and Leo 
and Gibbons continued t'hat guidance in the opening of 
the twentieth. Gibbons and Manning, being removed 
from Rome, had no prestige as heads of powerful sub- 
ordinate organizations in the Curia, but were happily 
able to exercise their influence in the two countries which 
were most largely expressive of the development of those 
liberal ideas that both of them foresaw as impending for 
the world at large. Their unified thought — for they 
agreed as to all the general lines of the Church's opportu- 
nity to reach deeper into the hearts of men — swayed 
others by their own force in addition to the force of 
Catholic authority exerted from Leo as the fountain head. 
In the battle of ideas the views of these three prevailed 
and the steady, even remarkable advancement of the 
Church in a time of shifting conditions and general stress 
was accomplished by following their leadership. 

Gibbons in the United States, or Manning in England, 


could have sought contentment in performing the duties 
of capable administrators and setting an example of the 
episcopal virtues to their flocks, but there was in them 
something that ranged far beyond this. Their minds 
reached out to the largest opportunities which confronted 
the Church in her worldwide mission and, under the mas- 
terly leadership of Leo, they controlled her decisions upon 
critical questions which involved the characteristic 
changes of the world in their time. Their appeal to peo- 
ples rather than governments, which was the main foun- 
dation of all that they did, was vindicated in its results 
by the rise of popular rule, the wreck of dynasties and 
the advance of religion, shining with an unfading light 
amid the ruins of material systems around it. 

In America the accomplishment of Gibbons in allay- 
ing the bitter intolerance concerning religion which pre- 
vailed in the early days of his priesthood was a giant's 
task. That he was the greatest single force in bringing 
about this transformation can scarcely be doubted. He 
labored from youth onward to attain it, laying the foun- 
dations in his work in North Carolina and Virginia, and 
by his book The Faith of Our Fathers^ whose wide char- 
ity of view influenced tens of thousands who could be 
swayed directly by the voice of no priest or preacher. 
After his elevation to the archiepiscopal seat in Balti- 
more, he rose almost at a bound before his fellow coun- 
trymen as the national pattern and exemplar of religious 
tolerance, and he strove for it unceasingly by word and 
deed until the end of his labors. 

Indeed, it was far more by example than by precept 
that he exhibited to his fellow-countrymen the sanity of 


tolerance. He seldom spoke directly of the sub- 
ject in sermons or public addresses, but by illus- 
trating tolerance in himself in a unique way when he 
had attained a high position and held it for a long term 
of years, he changed the channels in which men's 
thoughts flowed. 

Not only did he cause Protestants to be more tolerant 
of Catholics, and vice versa, but he actually made Prot- 
estant denominations more tolerant of each other. In a 
multiplicity of utterances he spoke no word of reproof 
against any Christian man or any Christian faith. How 
was it possible for malignant critics of the Church to 
repeat their formulas with even a semblance of belief in 
them when the foremost Catholic prelate in America, a 
man constantly before the eyes of the people, was the 
negation of all that they asserted? If one were moved 
to declare that the Catholic Church aimed at the political 
domination of America, it was only necessary to point to 
Gibbons in order to confound that dictum utterly. If 
one asserted that the Church sought to proscribe all other 
forms of religion in this country, it was only necessary to 
point to Gibbons as a consistent and powerful upholder 
of the principle of equal rights guaranteed fundamen- 
tally in the Constitution. How could men be persuaded 
that she taught gross errors and superstitious practises, 
when the life and personality of Gibbons gave direct 
evidence to the contrary? 

Gibbons accomplished all this without the least modi- 
fication in the orthodoxy of his belief. He merely proved 
that being a devoted Catholic was entirely compatible 
with thorough Americanism and with the friendliest at- 


titude toward adherents of other faiths. For his Church 
and for himself, he claimed only such privileges as he 
freely conceded to others under the Constitution and 
laws. His forum was public opinion. He entered it 
boldly and pleaded his case. 

Now and then, in the heat of the "A. P. A." agitation, 
some one was heard to say that the Cardinal declared 
his admiration for his country in order to bring about a 
false sense of security and to make the way easier for a 
contemplated inroad. This reasoning failed to take into 
account that he reprehended defects in American 
political and social institutions as often as he bestowed 
praise. He was like a sentinel on the tower, always cry- 
ing the alarm at the approach of danger. Of all Ameri- 
cans, he was perhaps the most outspoken in denouncing 
national faults, and he was not infrequently the first one 
of prominence to expose them. Throughout his career, 
however, he expressed unfailing faith in the future and 
in the capacity of the people to right their own wrongs 
by orderly means. He held up an ideal and tried to guide 
the footsteps of the people toward it. 

Undoubtedly much of his success in routing religious 
intolerance in America and thereby opening a way for the 
Catholic Church which resulted in an immense accession 
to her numbers was due to his settling in definite form, at 
the outset of his career as Cardinal, the question of the 
Catholic stand in regard to the separation of Church and 
State in the United States. There had been no real 
cause for doubt as to this stand before, but Gibbons 
understood thoroughly that the doubt existed, baseless 
or not, in America, and that it was one of his main stum- 


bling blocks in the program of Catholic advance which 
he planned. 

The able leaders of the Church in Rcnne would have 
considered it madness to attempt an encroachment upon 
the equal toleration of all sects and the favoritism of 
none which are engrafted in the Constitution. There 
was, of course, the historical Catholic background that in 
the days when all Christians throughout the world ac- 
knowledged but one faith and one spiritual shepherd on 
earth, the relations between Church and State bore a 
character and intimacy which reflected those conditions. 
No Pope and no Bishop could so far depart from Catholic 
teaching as to assert that the Church would not accom- 
plish a greater spiritual benefit to man if she enjoyed the 
favor of the laws and the protection of the public author- 
ities. The assertion of this general principle, however, 
had never possessed in practise any direct bearing upon 
America, where an overwhelming majority of the pop- 
ulation has always been Protestant. John Carroll, the 
first American Archbishop, coincided to the fullest extent 
with the American system when it was set up, and the 
prelates who have come after him have never proposed 
to change it. The Church has repeatedly declared 
through the Popes that she adapts herself to all forms of 
civil government, and is unwilling to have her mission 
thwarted by conflict with the civil authorities any- 

How did Gibbons interpret this matter in his own 
mind? His writings and public speeches have left no 
shadow of doubt on that point. He believed that the 
Catholic Church under the conditions that prevailed in 


his time and would probably continue to prevail would 
thrive better if entirely divorced from civil institutions, 
but fully protected in her spiritual mission. He did not 
wish to force his own views upon European countries, 
regarding it as proper that each nationality should settle 
the question in its own way, provided that the solution 
were not inconsistent with the full and free advance of 
the Catholic faith. As to America, he was convinced that 
complete acquiescence by word and deed at all times in 
the system which prevailed here was best from every 
point of view. 

Confronted by this situation and by the misunderstand- 
ing of it on the part of great numbers of his fellow-coun- 
trymen, he decided to deliver at a most timely moment, 
his installation as Cardinal in his titular Church in Rome, 
a declaration which would give the incredulous no more 
room for doubt. Basing his stand upon the encyclical of 
Leo XIII, the reigning Pope, concerning "The Constitu- 
tion of Christian States," he declared that the Church 
"in the genial atmosphere of liberty blossoms like a rose," 
and that in the United States "the civil government holds 
over us the £egis of its protection without interfering with 
us in the legitimate exercise of our sublime mission as 
ministers of the gospel of Christ." His speech was a 
carefully planned exposition of the true meaning of the 
American system as to the relations of Church and State, 
and no one since that time has been able to obtain any 
important degree of popular assent to the view that the 
Church proposes an assault upon the institutions of the 

When the Cardinal uttered this declaration, the rela- 


tions between Church and State in not a few countries in 
Europe were far different from what he lived to see them 
become. A shadow of the old conditions still overhung 
some of the other Cardinals in their thoughts upon the 
subject, and they were naturally startled at the boldness 
of Gibbons. They reflected viewpoints with which they 
had always been associated in their own countries. His 
declaration was never questioned by Leo or any succeed- 
ing Pope, or any other authority in the Church. It and 
its results stand to this day as a complete refutation of 
the most potent argument which was used to cripple the 
Catholic Church in the aggressive spiritual mission to the 
American people which has been her aim from the be- 
ginnings of the country. 

By his victory for Americanism in the struggle against 
the splitting up of the Church in this country into groups 
based upon former European nationalism, he served both 
Church and country to a degree whose full significance 
it was only possible to realize in the light of the World 
War. The power and resourcefulness which he showed 
in that struggle probably marked his maximum. 

Upon this question he seemed to see into the future 
with singular clearness. The great onset of immigration 
into the United States from Europe in the last two dec- 
ades of the nineteenth century had excited on the part 
of other leaders of American thought occasional appre- 
hension and nothing more. Now and then some one in 
authority was heard to say that the strain upon the as- 
similative power of the American people was great, but 
no one proposed an acceptable remedy. There was ap- 
parently general reliance upon the continued working of 


that assimilative power to a degree sufficient to overcome 
the threatened danger. 

Gibbons was not content to warn or merely to trust 
in the future without taking action to anticipate it. 
He, too, felt that American assimilation would do the 
work, but his conviction was equally firm that the proc- 
ess must be assisted by those who were able to exercise 
influence in strengthening and sustaining it. 

The main basis of Cahenslyism — the formidable move- 
ment for the appointment of Bishops in the Catholic 
Church in America on the basis of the numbers comprising 
foreign groups in the Church here — was merely the ex- 
pression of natural forces that were set in motion by the 
unprecedented tide of humanity that poured in this direc- 
tion from Europe. When the immigration reached its 
greatest height, the largest proportion of the newcomers 
were from countries in which the Catholic faith predom- 
inated, and the Church was the only agency with a suf- 
ficiently wide and powerful reach to exercise a definite 
influence upon them in their daily lives. 

Cahenslyism would have preserved, even jealously 
guarded, their former nationalities in the new country to 
which they came. Its effect, had it not been stifled before 
it had any important effect, would have been to impair 
and even to destroy in some parts of the country the 
validity of the bond of the English language as an over- 
shadowing force in American national unity. The im- 
migrants would have been secluded, as it were, from the 
mass of the people previously here, so that opportunities 
would have been lacking for them to understand the prin- 
ciples of the government under which the)^ had come to 


live, and a dense cloud of misunderstanding between 
them and the remainder of the population would have 
become permanent. No one foresaw as fully as Gib- 
bons the possible consequences of this policy if the United 
States should become engaged in war with a nation from 
which a large proportion of these immigrants had sprung. 

Some speeches, indeed, were made and some admirable 
work was attempted by a comparatively small number 
of organizations of Americans to assist in the assimila- 
tion of the foreigners. The public school authorities in 
some of the States attempted to aid in their assimilation, 
but in other States school boards preserved diverse na- 
tionality by the establishment of separate language 
schools. The children of Catholic immigrants, however, 
did not for the most part attend the public schools. Their 
education was received in the parochial schools, and it 
was there that the influence of Gibbons reached them. 

Statesman that he was, he did not wish to attempt to 
sever them from their former ties by a violent wrench. 
He knew that this would be ineffective, and, indeed, that 
it might impair a just solution in no small degree, but he 
believed in providing an orderly process, which would be 
sufficiently rapid, by which the immigrants and their 
children would be led gradually to mingle on terms of 
equality with the rest of the people of America, and, at 
the earliest practicable time, would consider their new life 
as fact and their former life as memory. From the time 
when he obtained the decision of Rome in his favor on 
this point the Catholic Church became, and has since con- 
tinued to be, an active agent for the gradual, orderly and 
effective Americanization of immigrants who arrive in 


America. Forces that might have produced disunion in 
the World War were so weakened that they did not seri- 
ously arrest the participation of the country in that con- 
flict according to its own national ideals. 

But this was only a part of the service which Gibbons 
performed. Had the custom of electing nationalist 
Bishops in America been sanctioned by Papal authority, 
the unity of the Catholic Church in this country would 
have been wofully impaired. It would have been com- 
posed then, as Gibbons plainly foresaw and plainly said, 
of discordant groups striving from the active force of 
nationalist rivalries and impairing what in his sermon at 
the conferring of the pallium upon Archbishop Katzer he 
called "this blessed harmony that reigns among us." 

Furthermore, what would the critics of the Catholic 
Church have said when the World War burst? With 
what vehemence might they have denounced the Church 
for preserving the nationality of foreigners after their 
arrival and lending the power of her organization to 
arrest assimilation"? The storm of criticism might even 
have broken before the war. The enemies of the Church 
were lying in wait to find some means of assailing her 
as un-American, and in the working out of the system 
proposed by the Cahenslyites, what a leverage they might 
have attained I When the war came, some irresponsible 
Catholic belonging to one of the foreign groups might 
have made an immature remark in which he might have 
claimed the protection of the Church for an anti-Ameri- 
can policy, and such a remark, if misconstrued, might 
have led to the gravest consequences. 

Gibbons wished to keep the record clear. He felt that 


the Catholic Church from the dawn of the Republic had 
done nothing hostile to American nationality and insti- 
tutions, but, on the other hand, had been a staunch and 
consistent upholder of them. If she were to mar this 
record through yielding to persistent demands which pro- 
ceeded in great part from Europe, and whose background 
lay, to a certain degree, in mysterious forces identified 
with nationalist aggression there, a new wave of intol- 
erance, like that of "Know Nothing" times, might have 
swept over the country. 

The supposed danger which excited the violent appre- 
hensions of the "Know Nothings" and led to their bloody 
and cruel proscriptions was the mere presence of the for- 
eigners ; if added to their presence there had been a policy 
deliberately followed by the Catholic Church of keeping 
them separate from the main body of citizens, and pre- 
venting their absorption by natural means, the storm of 
intolerance might have been angrier than it had ever 

Gibbons was not satisfied to know that the Church was 
doing nothing whatever that might be properly consid- 
ered to stamp her as a foreign influence. He wished all 
his fellow-citizens to know this also, and he could not be 
content if there was any misunderstanding on their part, 
no matter what the cause. His stand against Cahensly- 
ism not only made American unity possible in the World 
War, but probably warded off another period of bitter 
feeling against the Church which would have stayed her 
progress when she was growing faster than she had ever 

Light upon Gibbons' character is thrown by the fact 


that in this struggle, as in others in which he engaged, 
he possessed the singular faculty of retaining the esteem 
of those against whom he contended. Not once in the 
long process of strife did he utter a word of reproach 
against any particular foreign nationality or the mass of 
its people in this country, or any of its spokesmen in the 
Church in America, Archbishop Ireland, who ably as- 
sisted him throughout the conflict, pursued methods 
which drew the intense fire of the opposition, little as 
he heeded it; but during the period while it lasted the 
Cahenslyites never spoke of Gibbons with disrespect, 
although they strove to the utmost limit of their power 
to circumvent his purposes. 

Years after the fight was over and the victory won, 
Cahensly, whose name the movement had retained when 
it had swept far beyond its original proportions, visited 
the Cardinal at the archiepiscopal residence in Baltimore 
in the course of a trip to America, and rendered personal 
homage to the man who had done so much to overthrow 
the cause for which he had stood. Gibbons, always 
free from bitterness, received him with kindness and 
spoke afterward of the "pleasant" conversation which 
they had had; but as long as life remained in him he 
did not cease to be glad that he had met with firmness 
the danger of foreign nationalism in America when it 
had presented itself in its most threatening aspect. 

Another accomplishment of Gibbons which stamped 
him as a leader of men was the marked influence which 
he exerted in causing America to be better understood 
abroad. He was the first of his fellow-countrymen to 
make an important inroad upon the misconception of 


the United States, its institutions and its people which 
prevailed for so long and to such a great extent among 
the principal nations of Europe. There had been a belief 
that America was an experiment, poorly conceived, a 
temporary factor in the world which contained within 
itself elements of dissolution. There were exaggerated 
views of its people and its public men. While all Euro- 
peans did not share in this misunderstanding, it prevailed 
among many millions and was an obstacle to solidly based 
international accord. 

European churchmen, both Catholics and Protestants 
— not because they were churchmen, but because they 
were Europeans — had once regarded as radical and even 
revolutionary the separation of Church and State as es- 
tablished by the Constitution of 1787. In their eyes it 
seemed to divorce religion from the body politic and 
therefore to impair the State as an uplifting force among 
the people. In countries where various Protestant 
churches were established and supported in part by the 
State the same feeling prevailed as in Catholic countries. 
The main thought was that the American system meant 
irreligion, while the European system meant the foster- 
ing of religious influence by the State in behalf of the 

By his speech in Rome in 1887, just a century after 
the framing of the Constitution, on the relations of 
Church and State in America, and by numerous subse- 
quent declarations and acts abroad. Gibbons brought 
home to the thinking portion of the European peoples a 
comprehension of the working in practise of the Ameri- 

*Bryce, The American Commonivealth, Vol. II, p. 767. 


can system, as distinguished from the working in prac- 
tise of the European system, and as separated from the 
theoretical aspects of either. He showed that in America 
the Church was perhaps more secure in her rights than 
anywhere else in the world, and that the protection which 
had been given to her in her spiritual mission had resulted 
in accessions such as she had gained in no European coun- 
try. He showed that the leaders of America, from Wash- 
ington down, had been for the most part men of deep 
religious feeling, and that this influence had been woven 
in the thread of the nation's life. 

He also brought home to Europe a comprehension that 
America had not only a free but a strong government, 
long before that lesson was learned from example in the 
World War. The institutions of the United States, he 
pointed out, while having an appearance of laxity, really 
contained within themselves stronger elements of perma- 
nency than were to be found in the institutions of some 
of the other great powers, because they possessed by vir- 
tue of their elasticity the capacity to withstand a sudden 
shock. Leaders of European thought first learned from 
Gibbons to believe that America was a fixed and per- 
manent factor as a power of the first rank and that its 
institutions, so far from being unworthy to be compared 
with those of Europe, were worthy of imitation 
throughout the world in some respects. He lived to see 
a tremendous strengthening of the democratic ideal 
abroad, in conformity with what he had so long pre- 
dicted to incredulous observers on the other side of the 

In this connection it is well to consider that his influ- 


ence, far more than that of any other churchman whom 
America has produced, extended outside his own country. 
His victory in the struggle for the right of labor to or- 
ganize affected more Europeans in the aggregate than 
Americans, for, as the principle was soon sanctioned by 
Leo and proclaimed in one of that Pope's encyclicals, it 
was a charter for Catholic workmen throughout the 
world. European labor leaders were not slow to ac- 
knowledge that it was Gibbons to whom they owed this 
powerful influence exerted in their behalf. 

The battle against Cahenslyism was distinctly a battle 
against encroachment by European nationalist groups, 
and it was discussed abroad with fully as much heat and 
persistence as in the United States. There was no lack 
of comprehension of the fact that upon the decision con- 
cerning it depended the question as to whether European 
groups as such were to obtain a permanent foothold in 
America; and when they found Gibbons the outstanding 
figure who prevented the threatened incursion, they could 
not fail to realize his own power and the strength of the 
country for which he stood. 

In parts of the world where little was known of Amer- 
ica, and less of its public men, the fame of Gibbons pene- 
trated. A story was told — whether true or not, it illus- 
trated a condition — of an eastern Prince to whom the 
United States meant three things and three only. The 
first was George Washington, the second was the Rocky 
Mountains, and the third was Cardinal Gibbons. 

His sweeping success in his defense of the rights of 
organized labor and his great influence in stifling Social- 
ism in the United States clearly marked the channel of 


his thoughts on the subject of industrialism, that preg- 
nant theme which absorbed the attention of men to such a 
great extent during the most fruitful period of his life. 
He wished to lift the workingman and at the same time 
to save him from extremes. On the question of labor, as 
on other questions which he considered to be fundamen- 
tal to the progress of his fellowmen, Gibbons was not con- 
tent to preach or advise. He stood for action. While 
the debt of labor to him for his determined champion- 
ship is a general one throughout the civilized world, the 
debt for the checking of the progress of Socialism in the 
United States was especially one on the part of his fel- 
low-countrymen who see in American conservatism and 
moderation the only safety of their national institutions. 

The verdict in favor of the Knights which he obtained 
in Rome was, as he knew it would be, a verdict in favor 
of all other labor organizations. It was not a victory so 
limited as to impair substantial realization of its fruits 
in any way. He obtained full assent to the general right 
of labor to organize as a principle of industrialism which 
amounted to its protection by the Church. In the exer- 
cise of that right, the method of organization, the pol- 
icies and plans to be followed in carrying out the pur- 
pose, were not abridged. It was a broad charter for men 
everywhere, regardless of creed or race. 

Had it not been for the influence of Gibbons thus ex- 
erted the progress of the labor movement would have 
been seriously impeded for an indefinite time in all coun- 
tries where the Church was strong. Perhaps to no other 
churchman than himself would the project of inducing 
the Congregation of the Holy Office to reverse itself 


have appeared to be practical. Some, indeed, would have 
considered the attempt to be little short of madness. A 
measure of Gibbons' boldness may be conceived from the 
utter fearlessness with which he began and waged the 
battle to victory in the face of that obstacle. 

Another public service of Gibbons — like his rout of 
Cahenslyism, a service both for Church and country — was 
that which he rendered in facilitating the transfer 
of the status of the Catholic Church in the islands ac- 
quired from Spain by the United States to the status 
which prevails in this country. Statesmen at Washing- 
ton learned the difficulties of this transfer as soon as the 
islands passed into American possession. The Church had 
extensive property rights in all of them, fortified by the 
civil laws of centuries and by the custom and thought 
of the people, among whom the system was not different 
from that which prevailed in Spain. The problem of 
the Friar lands in the Philippines was an especial com- 
plication which, as we have seen, threatened to prolong 
a state of armed resistance to American authority. 

Gibbons early perceived the need of effective inter- 
position to assist both Church and State in the readjust- 
ment of relations in the islands, so that complete con- 
formity with the American system might be obtained 
with the least possible jarring of the sensibilities of the 
people affected. Obstacles were many and intricate and 
he intervened only where the regular processes of nego- 
tiation and transfer seemed to be inadequate. Mainly 
through his influence, especially as wielded in the course 
of his trip to Rome soon after the Spanish War, every 


difficulty was removed and he lived to see the solution 
accepted by all as just and necessary. 

No resume of the things accomplished by him would 
be complete without reference to his services as a re- 
former in American public life. For years he was an 
active, conspicuous and continuous reform influence. He 
helped in a signal manner to marshal public opinion 
against the ballot frauds which once prevailed and were 
finally checked, against laxity and corruption in public 
administration, against the delays of the courts, against 
lynch law, and in fact, against virtually all of the pub- 
lic evils which developed to considerable proportions in 
his time. 

His war upon civic abuses was not an indiscriminate 
one, and he wasted no time in the expression of platitudes 
about general conditions which could not be applied di- 
rectly to relief. Every time he assailed an evil he pro- 
posed a remedy, and he drove home his points with per- 
sistence when he was once aroused to take a definite stand. 
He was not a reformer in the sense of being a scoffer at 
the institutions of whose abuses he complained; but he 
held that militant watchfulness was essential in order 
that the political life of the Republic should be prevented 
from degenerating into abuses and scandals. So far as 
it was in him, he gave his thought, time and effort to 
keep clean the civic temple; and no small share of the 
great regard in which he was held by his fellow-country- 
men was due to the consistency of his labors in that re- 


We come now to a point in the consideration of the 
elements of greatness that Gibbons possessed to which 
no obscurity is attached — his brilliancy as a churchman. 
In any appraisement of the gifts and acts which con- 
tributed to his undoubted preeminence in this respect it 
is well to bear in mind that his purely ecclesiastical record 
was obscured to some extent in the public mind by the 
remarkable range and force of his activities outside the 
Church, which lent themselves more readily to general 
comprehension. Much of what he fought for and accom- 
plished within the Church was little known at the time, 
because so much of it was done in higher councils whose 
proceedings were not open to public scrutiny. He had 
reached the most intense period of his struggle in behalf 
of the right of labor to organize before a word of what 
he was doing leaked out, and the surprise of the world 
was great when a copy of his burning appeal in behalf 
of the object upon which he had set his heart was obtained 
surreptitiously and printed. In the ordinary process of 
ecclesiastical propriety he would have waited until the 
decision had been given before making any public utter- 
ance on the subject and even then he might have con- 
tinued to preserve silence in order to avoid linking his 

own efforts or personality with the result. 



The full measure of what he did in the long grapple 
with Cahenslyism was not comprehended at the time by 
more than a small, well-informed inner circle of ecclesi- 
astical and political life in the United States and Euro- 
pean countries. It was widely understood, of course, in 
a general way that Gibbons Was the leader of the su- 
preme struggle of those who stood for Americanism in 
that case. But the details of his systematic and pro- 
tracted efforts to still the strident voice of foreign na- 
tionalism in America were involved in much obscurity. 
He was not of the type of man to claim any credit for 
himself in such affairs, and besides he had learned early 
in life, like other Catholic ecclesiastics, to preserve per- 
sonal confidence inviolate. 

His work in organizing and presiding over the Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, bearing fruit as it did in 
the production of a monumental system of Catholic leg- 
islation which was subsequently used as a model for 
similar councils in other countries, was strictly church- 
manship. This was one of the feats of his life, an out- 
standing ecclesiastical achievement of the nineteenth 
century. It stamped him as the Moses of the Catholic 
Church in America in the sense of being its lawgiver. 
Leo XIII was one of those who bestowed upon him the 
highest praise for this and went so far as to commend 
it especially in an encyclical. 

No churchman can be put to the test more exactingly 
than by being charged under the Pope with the responsi- 
bility as Apostolic Delegate for a Plenary Council. The 
task requires a complete and analytical knowledge of the 
doctrines and discipline of the Church, and a thorough 


grasp upon its immense range of scholarship. No ecclesi- 
astic other than one deeply learned and possessing rare 
executive traits could hope to accomplish it in such a 
manner as Gibbons did. Each Plenary Council frames 
a complete constitution for the discipline of the Church 
in its jurisdiction, being a national synod. The broad 
field covered, as indicated by the titles of the Third Plen- 
ary Council's decrees, runs: The Catholic faith, ecclesi- 
astical persons. Divine worship, the sacraments, the edu- 
cation of clerics, the education of Catholic youth. Chris- 
tian doctrine, zeal for souls, Church property, ecclesiasti- 
cal trials and ecclesiastical sepulture. 

The foundation laid in the Council was not only com- 
prehensive, but enduring. No churchman since that time 
who is informed upon the subject has doubted that it was 
a master hand that framed the chart by which the Catho- 
lic bark has been steered in the United States ever 

In the Council, and on many subsequent occasions. Gib- 
bons showed his unsurpassed skill as a presiding officer. 
His ability as an executive must be taken into account 
in an important sense in any estimate of his powers. 
While the Archbishop of Baltimore has the place 
of honor among American Archbishops, he possesses no 
general or patriarchal jurisdiction, and a Cardinal has no 
jurisdiction whatever in virtue of being a member of the 
Sacred College except in the interregnum following the 
death of a Pope. Leo XIII, however, bestowed upon 
Gibbons by successive acts a status which no other Car- 
dinal outside of Rome possessed. To the Archbishop of 
Baltimore were entrusted so many general commissions 


of Church government and authority beyond his immedi- 
ate jurisdiction that he became the real ecclesiastical 
leader in America, and the force of his personality made 
this all the stronger. Other prelates, swayed by devotion 
to him and the things for which he stood, were eager to 
follow him in thought and action, and thus his aims, 
policies and methods became those of the Church 
throughout the country. He was the presiding officer at 
the meetings of the American Archbishops at which, 
under ecclesiastical law, important decisions were taken 
and these decisions came to reflect his views virtually 
without variation. 

His overshadowing object, in which all others were 
blended, was that the Church should spread religion to 
the widest bounds. This was to be accomplished by the 
fostering of the missionary spirit through the appoint- 
ment of the ablest leaders as Bishops and the best man as 
priests and by removing friction within the Church and 
between the Church and people of other creeds. When he 
became Archbishop the number of Catholics in the United 
States was, in round numbers, 6,000,000; he lived to see 
that number tripled. No organization, ecclesiastical, 
political or industrial, had a more successful leader in his 
time. He was the generalissimo par excellence in scope 
and boldness of conception, skill in method and almost 
incredible efficiency as judged by the accomplishment of 

Gibbons' rank as a churchman was emphasized by his 
authorship of the most successful popular treatise upon 
Catholic doctrines produced in modern times. The re- 
sults that have proceeded from the immense circulation 


of The Faith of Our Fathers were of the kind that he pre- 
ferred always to seek — the harvest of souls. 

Men in the front ranks of public life testified abun- 
dantly to his possession of extraordinary qualities of 
statesmanship. He was compared to Cardinal Richelieu 
in his gifts in that field, and again it was said of him 
that had he entered politics he would have become Presi- 
dent of the United States. Undoubtedly he possessed all 
the traits that would contribute to make any man Presi- 
dent. He had such a strong aptitude for public affairs 
that it was an almost irresistible impulse for him to en- 
gage in them in some way; yet withal his sense of fitness 
in such things was so keen that he never violated deli- 
cate proprieties in doing so. 

First among his gifts of statesmanship was an all- 
comprehensive grasp of government in the abstract, com- 
bined with one of the most practical of judgments in the 
application of its principles by methods based upon ac- 
curate understanding of human nature. He did not wan- 
der astray after barren aims, but never once lowered his 
standard of principles. His mind reached out even to the 
minor details of the processes of politics and government, 
and he was as much at ease when talking to a President 
upon these subjects, as when talking to a Pope upon 
ecclesiastical affairs. He seemed to know how every- 
thing in public life ought to be done, often better than 
the statesmen knew; and some of the most eminent of 
them were glad to learn from him. His natural qual- 
ities of leadership fitted him to command the great no 
less than the small. He could persuade men against 
their wills and they would thank him for doing so. 


Most of his battles for causes within the Church were 
won by the exercise of what amounted to consummate 
skill in statesmanship. Had a force so compelling in the 
affairs of men existed without the softening influences of 
religion, one might shudder to think of the lengths to 
which it could have gone. Permeated throughout with 
humility and guided by the code of a devoted priest, it 
was a monumental blessing. 

In rating Gibbons as a statesman it is necessary to 
consider the limitations under which he labored. He 
could hold no public office and never once did he endorse 
a political party or a partizan candidate. No other 
American outside the ranks of officialdom had even ap- 
proximately filled his role as a citizen. As the American 
people learned to know him, they listened to his voice 
almost as that of a prophet. In times of stress, they 
sought his calm, patriotic counsel and received it with 
gratitude and full confidence, such as they gave to the 
counsel of no other man. Ready — perhaps too ready — 
to doubt their chosen leaders in public office, they came 
to discard all doubt as to the wisdom and sincerity of 
the advice of Gibbons. When he spoke to them his 
words were of the common concerns of all his fellow- 
countrymen, asking no favors for himself or for his 

As an author. Gibbons may be rated much the same as 
he was rated as a preacher. His books were the most pop- 
ular and most widely circulated of their kind in America 
and, in the case of The Faith of Our Fathers, in the 
world; but as he deliberately avoided profundity in ex- 
pression so that his message might not go over the heads 


of the millions whom he sought to reach, his rank in a lit- 
erary sense falls short in this respect. One may form 
some conception of the heights which it would have been 
possible for him to attain as an author from the first edi- 
tion of The Faith of Our Fathers, now no longer circu- 
lated. That gem of limpid and finished simplicity in 
English style was his own individual product, but the 
later and expanded form of the same book, embodying a 
multitude of suggestions made to him by others, is to 
some extent the expression of diverse personalities. 

Our Christian Heritage is distinctly strong as a piece 
of reasoning, and it is doubtful if any other popular 
treatise ever set forth so effectively for the multitudes 
to read the defense of the underlying principles of the 
Christian faith. Even the logic of the book is simplified 
to a point where any one can comprehend it, as Gibbons 
wished it to be, and therefore, considered as an intellec- 
tual product alone, it is of a different type from the elab- 
orate reasoning of the great doctors of the Church. 

Again, in the case of his volume of sermons there is the 
same apparent desire to write down to the level of the 
average man, for he considered his mission at all times 
to be for humanity in the mass where the largest harvest 
was possible. The Ambassador of Christ, written as a 
guide for priests, bears the characteristics of a text-book, 
rather than of a general work of literature, though the 
limpid style in which he wrote almost everything per- 
vades it, and gives it an artistic finish. The Retrospect 
of Fifty Years is, for the most part, a group of his previ- 
ous public papers and utterances. 

In all his books there is an utter lack of any sign of 


the vanity of authorship. Gibbons obviously wished them 
to do good to others, rather than to enhance his own repu- 
tation. No matter what his unrevealed gifts as an author 
may have been, he deliberately moulded them to the 
practical in the pursuit of his mission as he saw it. 

Any measure of greatness that may be attributed to 
him must embrace, of course, an estimate of his general 
powers of intellect, and we may profitably attempt a 
close view of them. First, it may be said that his intel- 
lectual superiority impressed all who came in contact 
with him, despite apparent attempts on his part to make 
no display of it. Among his mental gifts one of the most 
singular and noticeable was largeness of vision. He 
judged important matters by a standard which included 
a long range of years and varying expressions of human 
development. His decisions did not seem to be based 
usually upon immediate and plainly evident conditions. 
He saw blessing in the future where other men sometimes 
predicted disaster; and he perceived ominous danger in 
things which other men contemplated with a sense of 

The general processes of his intellectual decisions were 
so wide that few men could comprehend them without 
long and serious thought. In time, most of those who 
were associated with him, or who were among his advisers 
or were charged with the responsibility of carrying out 
his decisions, came to accept his views as scarcely short 
of inspired, considering this condition as a phenomenon 
for which they could not account, but the existence of 
which they formed the habit of acknowledging. 

His range of accurate knowledge was one of the most 


extraordinary of his time, and he seemed to be almost 
equally at home on any subject which was placed before 
his mind. To cite an instance, he could sit among a 
group of United States senators and members of the 
lower house of Congress and discuss the question of 
Philippine independence, showing the possession of an 
immense mass of detailed information in regard to every 
aspect which it was worth while to consider. Again, at a 
meeting of Archbishops no one present knew the history 
of the inner processes of the Church in America as he 
did, or possessed a deeper comprehension of all methods 
that must be employed according to ecclesiastical pro- 
cedure in the settlement of questions, whether or not it 
was necessary to refer them to Rome. He would attend 
a meeting of the trustees of the Catholic University or 
one of the numerous institutions of benevolence main- 
tained in the diocese of Baltimore and show a greater 
familiarity with details in regard to the particular sub- 
ject of discussion than any one else present. 

Perhaps the most amazing mental trait which he cus- 
tomarily exhibited was perception. His mind appeared 
to take in not only the spoken word but even the un- 
spoken thought. A visitor — perhaps a personal friend — 
would see him with the intention of presenting a long 
statement and seeking his judgment, which practically 
all who knew him valued more highly than that of any 
other man. The Cardinal was willing to listen, but after 
a comparatively few words had been spoken it was ap- 
parent to the visitor that Gibbons comprehended every- 
thing which was in his mind. Evidence of this was so 


plain that the long explanation was often reduced to a 
short and simple one. 

This might be attributed by some to one of those men- 
tal processes akin to the psychic, which it would be out 
of place to discuss here. If one sought to explain it by 
reliance upon evident things, he would perhaps turn for 
a reason to the truly immense knowledge which Gibbons 
possessed on a great variety of subjects, including the 
characters and personal relations of those with whom he 
came in contact, and which enabled him to anticipate 
their thoughts by processes of quick deduction. 

All the movements of his mind were extraordinarily 
rapid, and many of them were apparently instantaneous. 
He pondered little over any decision, sometimes appar- 
ently not at all. Occasionally some one who consulted 
him would assume from this that he spoke hastily and 
that there was not sufficient reflection behind his deliver- 
ance. If Gibbons were questioned further in such a case, 
he would put in words a long chain of thought which 
would show that his decision was far from being the 
result of what is called "jumping at conclusions." 

The elasticity of his mind was as noticeable as its 
quickness. It never seemed to tire even though his body 
might be almost in a state of collapse. Every subject 
seemed to be interesting to him. He could turn from 
one to another with complete ease, and the last person 
to whom he spoke might form the conclusion that the 
matter taken up had been the only one upon his mind 
at the time, although far greater affairs might have been 
pressing him a moment before, or might be still pressing 


him. No one ever detected any limit to his intellectual 
capacity, no matter what the strain that was put upon 
it, and no matter what the cause of that strain. 

Naturally akin to quickness of mind, he possessed an 
almost incredibly retentive memory. It was a memory 
that lasted over such a long chain of years that it mys- 
tified those who had a chance to observe its range. Not 
only did it apply to the important affairs with which 
it was abundantly stored from the circumstances of his 
career; it absorbed and retained knowledge of intimate 
personal details relating to hundreds of individuals. 
Never in such cases did he appear to make a mistake. 

As of facts, his memory of faces was remarkable, and 
it was said of him that he never seemed to forget a face. 
He readily recognized persons whom he had not seen 
for a score of years and talked with them on terms of 
familiarity, as if their parting had been but of yesterday. 

One of the characteristics of his memory was that it 
was as retentive of words as of facts. He could not only 
remember the substance of statements which it was neces- 
sary to cite, but could recall the exact language in which 
they were framed, and this, not infrequently, after much 
time had elapsed. Even beyond the age of eighty years, 
he could memorize a sermon which he had written by 
merely reading it over twice. 

A great proportion of the Bible was imprinted upon his 
mind literally. It was his habit to clothe many of his 
thoughts in scriptural language, that of the Old Testa- 
ment as well as the New; and churchmen were often 
amazed to find long discourses from the Bible rolling 
from the end of his tongue, as if he held that sacred book 


before him and were glancing directly into its pages. 
It is not easy to believe that any man of his time was 
able to quote the Bible as freely as he did and with as 
much accuracy. There was no evidence that he ever 
attempted to memorize the Bible or any part of it; but 
no day passed without extensive reading of it by him, 
and thus the sentences clung tenaciously in his mind. 

Not only did no intellectual process seem to be beyond 
the reach of his powers, but the deepest of such processes 
appeared to be easy and simple to him. Nevertheless it 
was ingrained in his nature to avoid what he might con- 
sider, even if others did not, as an appearance of putting 
the mind above the heart. He deliberately turned his 
back upon a career that might have centered upon the- 
ology and philosophy, as involving retirement from the 
world while the clamorous call within his soul was to go 
out among men and share to the fullest in their whole- 
some aspirations. All this is far from saying that he 
underestimated the value to religion of research in the 
weightier forms of its scholarship, for he kept up his 
studies in them throughout his life. But in regard to 
these things he was receptive only. 

A proposal or an idea suggested to him seemed to be 
instantly separated into its elements in his mind, as if 
it were a ray of light broken up by the spectroscope. It 
was impossible to deceive him in a mental sense, though 
persons who appealed to him for help in need could easily 
impose upon him. His gaze seemed to pierce through 
the exterior of any one who was talking to him and reveal 
every hidden thought. 

Alertness was one of the chief characteristics of his 


intellect. It was always poised for instant action. 
Mentally he seemed, even when physically weary, like a 
knight riding into the joust with the keen point of his 
lance perfectly poised. 

The question may be asked — though the answer would 
be by no means conclusive — did Gibbons produce an im- 
pression of greatness upon others'? History attests that 
external appearances are often deceptive as standards of 
judgment in this respect. Nevertheless, we may examine 
the point as a subordinate if not a major consideration. 
First, it is worth while to say that the outstanding feel- 
ing of those who came in fairly close contact with him 
was a sense of an indefinable superiority on his part, 
unassociated with his red robe, his office or any material 
circumstance. This impression was so pronounced that 
men of practical affairs, possessing no small share of 
mental attainments — in fact, some who possessed a very 
large share of such attainments — were often confused 
in his presence, in spite of all that he habitually did to 
put them at their ease. 

Only by serious effort could some of them muster 
enough calmness to conduct a simple conversation with 
him, and they left with their heads in a whirl, recollect- 
ing little of what had taken place. After this mental 
agitation passed, the remembrance of every thing impor- 
tant that had developed in the course of the interview 
would usually come back to them, and they would find 
themselves puzzled to discover a reason for having been 
so seriously disconcerted without any reason that was 
either apparent or sufficient. 

The effect thus produced was chiefly noticeable in the 


cases of strangers or those who saw him seldom. So far 
as the sense of his superiority was concerned, friends who 
were accustomed to visit him frequently had precisely 
the same feeling; but instead of being overshadowed 
with confusion in his presence after they had grown to 
know him well, they usually passed to the other extreme 
and were soothed to an extraordinary degree by his 
gentleness and benignity. In virtually every instance, 
except as to persons who did not possess normal disposi- 
tions, or who were swayed by some particular motive, 
both friends and strangers looked upon him as an enigma, 
a unique blend of the greater qualities which men may 

How far these impressions proceeded from Gibbons' 
force of character and mind, and how far from the more 
or less physical force called "personal magnetism," it 
would be impossible to judge accurately. This magnet- 
ism, to employ the term as a convenient form of expres- 
sion, was evident in the largest crowd and, of course, 
still more to those in close individual contact with him. 
Its power was apparently exerted without effort on his 
part and it appeared to be fully as great when he was in 
repose as when in action. Everywhere he went it stamped 
him as a commanding figure. 

When he entered a room at a public meeting, no mat- 
ter how high were the dignitaries assembled, all eyes were 
turned to him, and the general impression of his 
superiority swept like a wave over the crowd. If some 
one else happened to be speaking or otherwise taking a 
prominent part in the exercises, attention was instantly 
diverted to Gibbons and remained centered upon him 


until he left. An orator might harangue ever so well, 
but the eyes of a majority of the crowd were riveted 
upon the Cardinal with a gaze as of fascination. His 
address, no matter how simple and modest, was rated as 
the "hit" of the occasion, and people crowded around 
him at the close of the proceedings to do him honor. 

No Americans of recent years except Blaine and Roose- 
velt had shown personal influence over crowds of men 
approaching that of Gibbons. To reach further back, 
one would find no approximation closer in time than 
Henry Clay, with whom Blaine was sometimes compared. 
There was no general parallel between the character of 
Gibbons and that of Blaine, who happened to be one of 
the men high in political life in America whom he knew 
well. Neither was there a general parallel between his 
character and Clay's, although both of them possessed a 
singular capacity for bringing a harmonious result out 
of a discordant gathering. 

The red robe of the Cardinal may have heightened the 
effect described, but did not give rise to it, for it was 
equally noticeable upon occasions when he was dressed 
in simple black. Even persons who differed from him 
in view in some things would be swept along by the mass 
psychology of those around them and join in applauding 
him on public occasions. 

There was nothing in the physique of Gibbons to cause 
awe in others; yet the feeling of awe which many felt 
when near him was unmistakable. His features and form 
did not primarily express majesty or imply domination; 
on the contrary, winning sweetness was his most promi- 
nent characteristic. 


He had a wonderful smile which lit up his whole 
countenance and matched the expression of his keen blue 
eyes. Never did the outward aspect of a man correspond 
more closely to his real life, work and purposes. There 
was dignity, but it was of the appealing rather than of 
the overpowering kind. He seemed to be a living, per- 
sonified plea for a fair hearing, a tolerant spirit, good 
feeling and earnest, united effort in helpful directions. 

In Europe he was considered to be a true type of the 
American in appearance. His face and form, combined, 
denoted alertness, perception, initiative, activity, vivacity 
and even vigor and determination, in spite of his evident 
physical frailty. The slightness of his physique was less 
apparent when the man was surveyed at a casual glance, 
for the face gave the predominant impression. No man's 
face was more truly the index of his soul than the face 
of Gibbons. 


Sitting in his study one day in July, 1913, Cardinal 
Gibbons remarked to a friend: "On next Wednesday I 
shall be seventy-nine years old." Then he added in a 
subdued voice: "I do not think that I shall live much 
longer; my life is nearly spent." 

The friend was surprised and shocked that the Cardi- 
nal's thoughts should take such a turn, but he smiled 
and continued: 

"I will soon be an octogenarian and nature must take 
its course. Almighty God has blessed me with a long 
life, and I am ready to answer whenever He sees fit to 
call me to render an account of my stewardship. When 
the call comes, I think it will be a sudden one." 

The friend inquired anxiously as to the condition of 
his health. He answered: 

"I still feel young and capable of performing several 
more years of labor, yet I think that I will soon pass 
away. You know it is the soul that makes us young 
or old. If our souls be young, though our bodies be as 
old as Methuselah's, we are young indeed." 

There had come by that time an unmistakable waning 

of Gibbons' strength, and there were signs that he was 

as well aware of it as any qne else. Nevertheless, his 



spirit rose in resolute resistance to the thought either 
that he should begin a life of partial retirement, as some 
of his friends advised, or even that he should discontinue 
some of his more exacting duties. He seemed determined 
to postpone to the utmost limit his surrender to the grow- 
ing restrictions imposed by age. The thought of sparing 
himself for his own comfort he could not tolerate, and 
he seemed impatient at times when it was voiced by 
solicitous persons near him. 

Even when he had begun to show a tendency toward 
marked physical weakness after periods of prolonged 
exertion, he still possessed large reserve resources of 
vitality. Not only was his mental vision undimmed in 
its sweep of world affairs and his activity unabated in 
that field, but he persisted in continuing to perform his 
duties as a Bishop, — preaching, consulting with his 
clergy, making arduous episcopal journeys in the course 
of which he confirmed large classes, and retaining a guid- 
ing hand upon all the important affairs of the diocese. 

In the course of the next two years, occasional attacks 
of rather severe weakness and of the minor physical ail- 
ments which he had often endured were not followed by 
the rapid recuperation which had so long excited the 
wonder of those who knew him well. Sleeplessness 
troubled him at times. One Saturday night early in 
February, 1915, he was so restless and weak that he 
called a member of his household to his assistance in the 
early morning. He took no breakfast and seemed to be 
in a state verging on collapse. The day was the first 
Sunday of the month, — one on which for years he had 
been accustomed to preach in the Cathedral — and he 


had already prepared his sermon. The priests at the 
archiepiscopal residence pleaded with him not to go to 
the Cathedral, but to remain quietly in his study. Know- 
ing his customary reaction to such appeals, they were not 
surprised when he replied that as the fact that he was 
to preach had been announced he would not disappoint 
the large congregation which he knew would be assembled 
in the church. 

In the pulpit it was apparent that his throat was 
troubling him seriously, and several times while deliver- 
ing his discourse he passed his hand across his forehead 
in a gesture indicating faintness. Nevertheless, although 
it was obvious that the effort was considerably greater 
than usual, he contrived to finish his sermon and his 
unimpaired memory enabled him to adhere to the lan- 
guage of the discourse as he had written it in advance. 

That night he retired early and in a short time was 
able to visit friends in the country for a few days' rest, 
which appeared to restore him temporarily. 

The difficulty of continuing to preach monthly In the 
Cathedral, in addition to the other duties which he in- 
sisted upon performing, increased. In December of the 
same year, when he was eighty-one, he thought seriously 
for the first time of reducing the number of his sermons 
in the course of the next year, although he had no idea 
of abandoning them. This was only a thought at first, 
and he did not yield to it until another year had elapsed, 
when he let it be known that he would discontinue the 
delivery of sermons at stated periods. 

He passed his last birthday on earth ^ in the congenial 

* Julj"- 23, 192a 


surroundings of the rural home of a member of the 
Shriver family at Union Mills. His strength seemed to 
be above the average on that day, and his mind surged 
with the thoughts which lay closest to him. Conversing 
upon some of these, he said : 

"Plato was accustomed to thank the gods that he was 
born in a country so advanced in culture and civilization 
as Greece, and that he had Socrates for a teacher, I 
thank the Lord that I was born and reared in a country 
so favored as the United States, where every man is pro- 
tected in the enjoyment of life and property with the 
least possible restriction of personal liberty. 

"Those who are dissatisfied with the Constitution of 
the United States; those stirring up discord and strife; 
those anarchists who come from abroad to sow seeds 
of revolt, not only display a deplorable madness, but 
are guilty of base ingratitude in stabbing the mother who 
has given them hospitality. 

"I thank Almighty God not only in being a citizen 
of the United States, but in being a member of the Chris- 
tian family. From the dawn of reason to the present 
hour the Lord has been my guiding star and is my hope 
of eternal salvation, without which life would not be 
worth living. 

"Not only is Christ the life of the soul, but the prin- 
ciples He has left us are the sustaining strength of the 
nation. If our statesmen and citizens are guided in 
political and civil conduct by the sublime teaching of 
the Gospel, the vigor and enduring stability of our nation 
are secured. 

"My hope in the perpetuity of our Government rests 
in the practical sense of the American people, who in 
good time will correct the extravagance of fanatical in- 
novators and bring us back to the safe paths outlined by 


the fathers. My hope rests, too, in the guidance of an 
overruling Providence." 

In September he presided at a meeting of the Hier- 
archy in Washington, at which a plea was presented 
from some European nationals in regard to the composi- 
tion of that body, which Gibbons considered to be a new 
threat of encroachment. There was a discussion and one 
of the prelates who was present requested him to give 
his opinion. His stooping figure became erect and his 
failing voice rang with emotion as he replied: 

"We are bound in unity of faith and obedience to the 
Vicar of Christ ; but our Church knows nothing of Euro- 
pean politicians, and we must never allow them to lay 
hands on her fair structure." 

For several months more he continued the exertions 
against which his friends had so often warned him. 

The beginning of the end came in November of that 
year. For Sunday, the seventh day of the month, he 
accepted an invitation to confirm a class of more than 
one hundred and preach in St. Patrick's Church, Havre 
de Grace, Maryland, despite the fact that each visit of 
that character involved customarily for him a day of ex- 
ceptional strain. On Saturday night the Cardinal ap- 
peared to be very weak and restless. In the morning he 
was troubled with hoarseness and remarked to his secre- 
tary: "I fear that I shall be unable to preach."^ 

As was usual when he visited one of the churches in 

^An intimate account of Cardinal Gibbons' last illness is given by his 
secretary and companion during that period, the Rev. Albert E. Smith, 
in Smith and Fitzpatrick's Cardinal Gibbons, Churchman and Citizen, 
from which many facts embraced in this chapter are taken. 

C .2 



Ph [V] 

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PS E^^ 


his diocese, his participation was the event of the day 
in the town and an overflowing congregation was pres- 
ent. He looked over the expectant crowd after entering 
the church, reconsidered his determination and said : 

"I cannot disappoint these good people; I will say a 
few words at the close of the Mass." 

He persisted in carrying out his decision, but faltered 
suddenly while speaking. Several persons rushed to his 
side and prevented him from falling. After a short 
period of rest in a chair, he seemed to recover and finished 
his discourse. He confirmed the large class and greeted 
the congregation at a reception in the sacristy. The 
same afternoon he attended a reception in his honor 
at the home of Commodore and Mrs. Richards, a short 
distance from Havre de Grace. There was no indication 
that his collapse in the pulpit had proceeded from more 
than temporary causes. 

During that month he continued to attend to his work 
in Baltimore and presided at the annual meeting of 
the Board of Indian and Negro Missions, in whose efforts 
he had taken an especially deep interest for many years. 
On the evening before Thanksgiving Day, a friend who 
visited him in his study found him crouched in a chair, 
deathly pale and in a state evidently approaching col- 
lapse. Gibbons admitted that he was almost incapable 
of exertion, and remarked that he knew he was unpre- 
pared to attend the Pan American Mass the next day 
in St. Patrick's Church, Washington, at which he was 
expected to be present; but, he exclaimed with spirit, 
"I will go." 

To the visitor this seemed to be merely a rash decision. 


The general celebration of Thanksgiving had become 
commonplace, but it meant far more to Gibbons than to 
most men. He could not forget that more than forty 
years back, when many of the religious groups in Amer- 
ica were apathetic in regard to the observance of the 
day, he had led the way for the Catholic Church to give 
her full and continuous adherence to the growing na- 
tional custom, and that it was he who had instituted the 
Pan American Mass, at which Presidents, cabinet mem- 
bers and Latin-American diplomats were wont to as- 
semble annually. Not only did he carry out his inten- 
tion of joining in the service in Washington the next day, 
but a few hours after the Mass he blessed the new 
parochial school of St. Aloysius Church. 

On December 3 the Cardinal's eldest sister, Mary, died 
in New Orleans, at the age of ninety-four years. On 
account of the condition of his health and the long jour- 
ney that would have been involved, it was impossible 
for him to attend the funeral. 

Two days afterward, although it was evident to all 
those in his entourage that he ought not to leave Balti- 
more even for a short trip when his health was in such a 
critical state, he persisted in going to Emmitsburg, Mary- 
land, intending to pontificate at a Mass at St. Joseph's 
College, the mother house of the Sisters of Charity, in 
honor of the beatification of Louise de Marillac and 
the four martyrs of Arras. For some time he had suffered 
from fainting spells and difficulty in breathing. Al- 
though unable to pontificate, he was present on his throne 
throughout the service. 

The need of rest being imperative, he went that after- 


From the portrait by Marie de Ford Kelkir, presented h;/ the Car- 
dinal to Miss Mary O. Shriver, December 16, 1920 


noon to the home of Miss Mary O. Shriver at Union 
Mills, where he expected, as before, to recover his 
strength. But his weakness increased and prostrated him 
in bed, causing grave apprehensions. His malady was 
the old age disease, arteriosclerosis, the hardening and 
thickening of the arteries, but he remained organically 

Four days after his arrival at the Shriver residence he 
celebrated his last Mass. He lacked the strength to 
descend the altar steps, but, leaning against the altar, 
gave communion to the members of the family as they 

On the evening of December l6 he presented a por- 
trait of himself, painted by Marie de Ford Keller, of 
Baltimore, to Miss Shriver at a little ceremony, be- 
ing carried down the stairs from his room by members 
of the family, who made a chair with their hands. To 
the recipient he said : 

"I don't want you to forget me. This gift is only a 
slight mark of appreciation of your goodness to me." 

The exertion was evidently too much for him, for so 
critical did his condition become in the course of the 
night that at 2 a. m. he was anointed for death by his 
secretary. He rallied, but his sinking spells became 
increasingly frequent. 

As he lay in bed. Von Hoist's History of the United 
States was read to him at intervals of the day. He had 
recently read Beveridge's Life of John Marshall, and 
new biographies of Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. 

On Christmas Day, the first one in fifty-two years on 
which he had not pontificated, he could not leave his bed 


and listened to the celebration of a low Mass in the 
residence, accompanied by the singing of Christmas 
hymns. By that time he appeared to be convinced that 
he had not long to live. After one of his periods of ex- 
treme weakness, he said: "I wish that our good Lord 
would take me to Himself." 

He was greatly cheered on that day by the receipt of 
the following message, expressing Pope Benedict's solici- 
tude for him: 

"His Holiness begs the Lord for every grace and com- 
fort for your Eminence, who, in your laborious life, has 
rendered such service to the Church. He sends to you 
with paternal affection his special Apostolic Benediction." 

(Cardinal) "Gasparri." 

At the midnight Mass at the Vatican, the Pope offered 
special prayers for Gibbons' recovery. 

In the course of the following week, he was visited at 
the Shriver house by Archbishop Bonzano, the Apostolic 
Delegate; Bishop Shahan, Rector of the Catholic Uni- 
versity; Bishop Russell, of Charleston, and a number of 
priests and laymen. Bishop Corrigan, his auxiliary, 
called and gave him reports of the diocesan work. The 
renewed evidence of affection for himself shown by prel- 
ates and priests appeared to make a deep impression 
upon him. He said : 

"I have so much to be thankful for. See how different 
is the end of my life from that of Cardinal Manning.^ 
My clergy are devoted ; I have a loyal vicar general and 
a diocese in which there are no factions." 

*The allusion was to the comparative isolation in which Manning 
passed his last days. 


On New Year's Day the solicitude of President Wilson 
for the Cardinal was conveyed in the following message 
from the President's secretary to Bishop Corrigan: 

"The President has learned with sympathy and dis- 
tress of the Cardinal's illness, and hopes that he may 
very soon hear of a decided turn for the better." 

Gibbons replied to the President as follows: 

"From my sick bed I send you my heartfelt thanks for 
your solicitude in my regard, and I pray God may bring 
you every blessing in this New Year." 

In the first few days of the year he seemed to be rally- 
ing, and expressed the wish to be removed to the archi- 
episcopal house in Baltimore, in which he had lived for 
forty-three years. He said: "I want to die in my own 
home. When I reach Baltimore, I can then say nunc 
dimittis!'' To his physicians he said that he had a feel- 
ing that he would be able to undergo the journey with 
safety, and they consented to it. He would not permit 
his removal in an ambulance, and was conveyed to Balti- 
more in an automobile in which he was made as com- 
fortable as possible by means of pillows. 

There seemed to be a transformation in him as he re- 
entered the house, to which so many of his tenderest 
memories clung. As he was borne through the front door 
on a stretcher, he inquired for the lad who attended the 
door, saying: "Where is my little red-headed boy*?" 
The familiar faces and scenes brightened his spirits. For 
several days his condition showed a steady improvement, 
and once he remarked to his physician. Dr. Charles 
O' Donovan : "I am beginning to feel my old self again." 


Cardinals O'Connell, Mercier and many others sent 
messages to him. Secretary of State Colby and the mis- 
sion from the United States Government which was then 
about to return home after a series of official visits to 
governments in South America cabled from Montevideo, 
expressing the anxiety of the members of the party over 
reports of his condition published there. 

As the seeming improvement continued, he was per- 
mitted to leave his bed and sit in a wheel-chair for con- 
siderable periods of each day. Later he walked about 
his study for a few minutes at a time, supported by others. 
Permission was also given by his physician for motor- 
car trips, on bright days, about the city. For a time he 
was not permitted to receive visitors; but as this isolation 
had a bad effect, the rule was changed and a few visitors 
were allowed to see him every day, their presence appear- 
ing to improve his spirits in a marked degree. 

As it was impossible to prevent his mind from taking 
up affairs of the diocese and other questions which had 
concerned him for so long a period, the restrictions in 
regard to his attention to these were also relaxed. In 
January he gave warm public support to a movement to 
raise a fund for rebuilding St. Mary's Industrial School, 
where hundreds of boys had felt the inspiration of his 
personal interest in them. The destruction of the school 
by fire had been a heavy blow to him. He issued an 
appeal to the Knights of Columbus to assist in the re- 
building, and enlisted their active cooperation. In this 
appeal he said of the school : 

"I have been President of its board of trustees for 
more than forty years, I have seen it grow year by year. 


its work extend, its influence expand. I have witnessed 
this work of half a century almost wiped out by fire in 
a single day. 

"I would not appeal to you if St. Mary's were merely 
a local institution. Our enrollment, during the school's 
existence, of nearly thirteen thousand youths from eight 
to twenty-one years old has come from forty-five States. 
The nine hundred under the care of the Brothers on the 
day of the fire represented thirty-three States and nine- 
teen religious denominations. 

"The seven hundred and eighty-five of our youth who 
enlisted directly from the school in war days, and the 
thirty-two hundred 'old' boys who found their way into 
the service, speak volumes for the spirit of true patrio- 
tism fostered and the physical fitness nurtured at the 

"I may not live to see this temple rebuilt, but, like 
David of old, I shall be happy to see the materials as- 
sembled. I would see perpetuated at this school for the 
neglected boy, semi-national as it is, a monument to the 
charity of the Knights, a hall graced with the 'K. of C ; 
an ever-present lesson of mutual service and brotherly 
aid to be learned by the thousands of boys the new St. 
Mary's will educate and train in the way of sturdy man- 
hood and right citizenship." 

When the savings movement fostered by the United 
States Treasury during the war was renewed, he again 
gave effective help to it. In February he sent a letter 
to the heads of all Catholic schools in the archdiocese of 
Baltimore approving the movement and urging their co- 
operation, saying: 

"The action of the United States Government in con- 
tinuing the campaign to develop habits of thrift on the 
part of the children of this nation is to be commended. 


I believe that every person in a position to be of assist- 
ance in developing interest in this subject and in educat- 
ing the people in habits of economy and thrift should 
give support to this movement. No greater service can 
be rendered the children of the country than to teach 
them the value of money." 

In forwarding this endorsement to the Savings Di- 
vision of the Treasury, he wrote in his own hand on the 
back of it : 

"I fully approve your desire to confer with the heads 
of the Catholic Schools in this archdiocese and commend 
your mission to them." 

For Washington's birthday he contributed an article 
to the issue of the Baltimore Catholic Review published 
a few days in advance of that anniversary. This, his 
last utterance of a general nature, was permeated 
throughout by thoughts which had moved him powerfully 
for many years and were struggling for final expression 
as his life drew near the end. It was, in effect, a farewell 
message to the American people, in which light it was 
considered throughout the country, where it was printed 
and circulated widely by newspapers. 

The subject of this valedictory was "The Constitu- 
tion and George Washington." It began: 

"As the years go by I am more than ever convinced 
that the Constitution of the United States is the greatest 
instrument of government that ever issued from the hand 
of man. Drawn up in the infancy of our Republic, and 
amid the fears and suspicions and opposition of many 
patriotic men, it has weathered the storm periods of 
American public life and has proved elastic enough to 


withstand every strain put upon it by party spirit, West- 
ern development, world-wide immigration, wars little 
and great, far-reaching social and economic changes, in- 
ventions and discoveries, the growth of individual wealth 
and the vagaries of endless reformers. 

"That within the short space of one hundred years we 
have grown to be a great nation, so much so that to-day 
the United States is rightly regarded as the first among 
the nations of the earth, is due to the Constitution, the 
palladium of our liberties and the landmark in our march 
of progress. 

"When George Washington secured its final adoption, 
largely out of respect for his judgment and as a tribute 
of confidence in him, he made all mankind his debtor 
forever, for the Constitution has proved the bulwark of 
every right and every fair promise that the American 
Revolution stood for. With the Constitution came the 
solidarity and the union which has marked our progress 
up to now; without it we would have remained thirteen 
independent colonies, with the passions and prejudices 
peculiar to each. For all time to come may it remain 
the instrument safeguarding our national life and insur- 
ing us the liberties and freedom which it guarantees." 

The Cardinal next turned to consideration of the 
guarantee of religious liberty in the Constitution, which 
had been his bulwark in his lifelong struggle against 
intolerance. He wrote : 

"For the first time in the history of mankind religious 
liberty was here secured to all men as a right under Fed- 
eral protection. That was indeed a big thing, a mighty 
thing for man to do, to write into the fundamentals 
of a Government enactments that would stem the tide of 
popular and traditional prejudices. But that the Con- 
stitution of the United States did, so that not only was 


religious intolerance branded as something un-American, 
but future American citizens came to our shores full 
hearted and well disposed, and the whole world was made 
a debtor to the wise founders of this charter of human 
rights and human interests. 

"Had this wise provision been left out of the Constitu- 
tion, who could have foreseen the evils confronting us! 

"No one knows better than myself what a line of 
demarcation and separation religion can cut in this coun- 
try from ocean to ocean, and no one has been more eager 
and earnest in his effort to keep down and repress 
religious distinction. 

"I fear no enemy from without. The enemy I fear is 
he who, forgetting human nature and the history of 
Europe, would raise the question of another's religious 
belief and introduce strife and discord into the life of 
our country. So deep and strong are religious feelings 
that any fostering of religious differences can have but 
one effect: to destroy what a hundred years of trial and 
test has proved to be the greatest blessing enjoyed by 
man here below. 

"Fortunately our common law protects every American 
in his religious belief, as it protects him in his civil rights, 
so that whatever offenses may be occasionally committed 
here in this respect are local and temporary, and are uni- 
versally regarded as un-American and are for this reason 
shortlived. The great wrongs which men have suffered 
elsewhere in this respect of religion are here unthinkable. 

"Moreover, because the question of religion had ever 
been the burning question with the masses who looked 
eagerly toward America, and were in time destined to 
come to our shores, the Constitution held out to them 
the hope that here on this blessed soil opportunity would 
be given them of worshipping God after the dictates of 
their own consciences. While the founders of the Ameri- 
can Republic could not have foreseen the coming flood 


of European immigration, they exhibited, nevertheless, 
in respect of religion the greatest prudence, and closed 
with practical sagacity the only source of mutual discord 
and injustice that the Republic had then to fear." 

He took up the question of foreign malcontents, re- 
garding whom he had expressed particularly vigorous 
views when they had threatened to create serious discord 
in the United States soon after the World War. The 
article proceeded: 

"I was quoted in the newspapers a few weeks ago as 
saying of certain foreign elements in this country that 
if they did not like our laws, let them return to their 
own country; and if they did not return they should be 
made to do so. Directed, as these words are, against 
those who would abuse the liberty of worship and other 
liberties here offered and would strive to overthrow the 
very instrument of their freedom, I offer no apology 
for them. In this all-important matter of religious lib- 
erty time has proved the wisdom of our founders, and 
we would be recreant to the trust committed to us if we 
failed to teach and uphold the principles upon which our 
Government rests." 

Gibbons called attention in the article to the trials 
through which America had passed, and expressed the 
view that "a nation which could survive the strain thus 
put upon it must be possessed of extraordinary vitality 
and resource." He recalled his own experiences in the 
Civil War "in which I was a chaplain at Fort McHenry" 
and the intensity of the feelings which were aroused on 
both sides in that strife. The conflict in 1876 over the 
Presidential succession as between Tilden and Hayes he 


also mentioned as one of the great episodes which had 
demonstrated the capacity for unity and constitutional 
cooperation among the American people, saying that it 
"filled me with more fear for the safety of the Republic 
than did the four years of Civil War." 

It was the Constitution, he held, which had safe- 
guarded the economic life of the country, in which un- 
exampled development had been obtained, bringing 
"riches and comforts that beggar description and per- 
haps surpass all that mankind has hitherto drawn from 
earth and sea." He especially eulogized the Supreme 
Court as the "coordinating medium in our national life," 
which had been indispensable to the stability of the 

Upon Washington the words of the almost dying man 
dwelt with something akin to tenderness. He declared 
that the first President during his two terms "gave force 
and direction to the written principles of the Constitu- 
tion, and proved even in the early days of its existence 
how practical a document it was in its bearings upon 
affairs and men." His conclusion was largely a summing 
up of the political creed of his life. It read : 

"It is my earnest hope that all my fellow citizens will 
find in the liberty and freedom guaranteed by the Con- 
stitution peace and security, and in the character of 
George Washington virtues and qualities worthy of the 
highest imitation." 

The finale of those homilies on general conditions of 
life which he had been accustomed to deliver in public 
addresses and through the medium of magazine and 
newspaper interviews appeared in the American Maga- 


zine for March, the month in which he died. It was 
written by Bruce Barton, who had obtained the material 
from Gibbons in his study in Baltimore before he had 
been stricken with the most serious phase of his last ill- 
ness. It was called an Easter message, but before Easter 
dawned the earthly voice of Gibbons was silent. 

The title of this article — an extraordinary one in view 
of the circumstances — was "Young Man, Expect Great 
Things." It was a phrase which Gibbons had used in 
the course of his conversation with Mr. Barton. The 
subject of old age and youth had been introduced, and 
the Cardinal said: 

"When a man begins to look back, then he is old. I 
never look back. Lot's wife looked back, you remember, 
and was destroyed. Looking back is destruction always 
— the beginning of the end. After a person passes middle 
life he ought to surround himself with those who have a 
long time yet to look forward. 

"Until you are forty, seek the companionship of men 
who are older. After that, keep a vital contact with 
those who are younger. That is a pretty good rule. Until 
my recent sickness I used to walk every afternoon from 
five to six, and whom did I choose for companions'? Stu- 
dents from the Seminary. They come from every part 
of the United States : one day a man from Massachusetts, 
another day one from Oklahoma, and so on. They tell^ 
me their hopes and their ambitions and their plans. 

"And do you want to know what I say to them"? I say, 
'Young man, expect great things! Expect great things 
of God; great things of your fellow men and of yourself. 
Expect great things of America. For great opportunities 
are ahead; greater than any that have come before. But 
only those who have the courage and the vision to expect 
them will profit when they come.' 


"Say to your young men for me: 'Be tolerant. For- 
get the prejudices that separate you from other men, and 
remember the great common ties that bind us all together 
as children of God, traveling the road of life together. 
And your reward will be in proportion to your service.' 

"Again and again, I have seen men start out in life 
selfishly to get all they could get for themselves, and in 
the end they are baffled and puzzled. They can't under- 
stand why, with all their striving, they have been sur- 
passed by men who apparently neglected their own selfish 
interests to render real service, and to be kind to other 
men as they went along. They do not understand that 
those unselfish servants of the race have the good will 
of thousands of people working for them ; and that God, 
whose eye can mark even the fall of a single sparrow, 
never lets an act of real devotion and service go without 
its reward. 

"That sounds like religion rather than business; but 
there is no business success, in the truest sense, that is 
not a religious success. Men are spirits, not merely bodies 
and appetites and needs; and the business that is built 
on the great spiritual laws of service and tolerance and 
kindliness builds on foundations that are eternal." 

On March 9 he issued an appeal in behalf of the Ameri- 
can Committee for Relief in Ireland, which was collect- 
ing a fund for aiding destitute women and children in 
that country. 

There was usually an objective for each of the motor- 
car trips which Gibbons was permitted by his physician 
to take during those last days when the shadow of his 
impending dissolution hung over his grief-stricken house- 
hold. Most of these objectives were Catholic institu- 
tions of benevolence in Baltimore, whose work lay close 
to his heart and had been unceasingly encouraged by him 


during nearly half a century. He visited an orphan 
asylum, several hospitals, the home of the Little Sisters 
of the Poor, a convent and St. Charles' College. At St. 
Agnes' Hospital he bestowed words of comfort upon a 
Sister of Charity who had been confined to a wheel-chair 
for more than twenty years, paralyzed from the waist 

On several occasions he was carried in his wheel-chair 
into the Cathedral. His thoughts turned to his possible 
appearance there on Easter Sunday, and on one of his 
visits he counted the number of steps leading to the 
archiepiscopal throne, saying that he might be able to 
mount them, and from that position give his blessing 
to the people. Doubting his ability to stand during such 
a ceremony, he spoke on another occasion of remaining 
seated in his chair and bestowing the blessing from the 
altar railing. He also looked forward to a meeting of 
the trustees of the Catholic University, which was soon 
to take place, and in which he ardently desired to partici- 
pate in some way. 

The rebound of his vitality after his return to his own 
home was short-lived. Gradually his infirmities became 
more painful and baffling, causing periods of great de- 
pression. In one of these periods he remarked: 

"Only God knows what I suffer. Most gladly would 
I change my position with that of the simplest child of 
the city." 

At times he expressed a wish for death. To one of his 
visitors he said : 

"They are thinking of installing an elevator in the 
house so that I may be enabled to go downstairs. The 


only elevator for which I am looking is Jacob's ladder, 
whereby I may go to my true home." 

While consciousness remained, he continued to be 
solicitous for all the members of his household, from 
the rector of the Cathedral to the "little red-headed boy" 
who attended his door. On the last Sunday of his life, 
the Sunday before Easter, he directed that the lad should 
be freed from his duties during the holiday and that 
money should be given him in order that he might go 
to Wilmington to visit a relative. 

The final collapse began on that day. A sudden change 
in the Cardinal's condition about seven o'clock in the 
evening caused Sister Ludovic, of the Bon Secours, his 
chief nurse, to give the alarm. The priests of the archi- 
episcopal household were summoned, and they heard him 
murmur : 

"I want to go home. Come, it is time for us to go. 
When shall we start'?" 

These words were spoken while he was apparently in 
the possession of full consciousness, for he recognized 
each of those who were gathered about his bedside. Al- 
though a rally followed, it was then evident that death 
was near. 

On the following day, he himself felt that he had but a 
short time to live. Archbishop Bonzano, the Apostolic 
Delegate, visited him. The Delegate's own account of 
the meeting was: 

"I went to see the Cardinal for the last time on Mon- 
day, March 21. The Cardinal had expressed a desire to 
see me, and though not feeling well, I felt I ought to go 
to see him. 


"When I was introduced into his room he smiled and 
tried to embrace me. 

" 'I am very glad you have come,' he said to me, 'but 
this is your last visit. I am a very sick man and the end 
is near.' 

" 'We are hoping and praying, Your Eminence,' I re- 
plied, 'that God will prolong your life. The Holy 
Father likewise is praying for you.' 

" 'How good of him to remember,' said the Cardinal. 
'But it is better for me to go than him, as his death 
would be a calamity to the Church in these troublesome 

"Here the conversation was stopped by a heart attack 
suffered by his Eminence. I then gave the Cardinal the 
Papal Blessing, which he received with fervor and in a 
most touching maimer, trying to make the sign of the 

"The Cardinal then blessed me. After that I caught 
a few indistinct words, among which was the name of 
the Holy Father. Fearing I might annoy him, I said 
good-bye. He thanked me. 

"I left the room happy and sorry — happy to have seen 
the great Cardinal; sorry to see the end of a great life. 
The great Cardinal kept his attachment to the Holy 
Father and to his representative to the very last." * 

On Monday and Tuesday his vitality bore him up in 
its expiring efforts. Speaking to the priests of his house- 
hold on Tuesday evening, he said : 

"You do not know how I suffer. The imagination is 
a powerful thing. My reason tells me that the images 
which rise before me have no foundation in fact. Faith 
must ever be the consolation of all men. Without faith 
we can accomplish little. Faith bears us up in our trials." 

* Baltimore Catholic Re'vieiv, 


At the request of one of the priests he gave his blessing 
to the group, the last which he was to bestow on earth. 
Then he said: "What a loyal, devoted band of priests!" 

That night he became unconscious and remained so 
until the end, with the exception of a few minutes on 
Wednesday morning when he rallied and spoke these, 
his last words, in a whisper : 

"I have had a good day." 

On Holy Thursday morning, March 24, 1921, while 
the near-by Cathedral was filled with worshipers, evident 
signs appeared that the Cardinal's death was at last about 
to come and the priests and sisters who had cared for him 
gathered lovingly around the bedside. The Rev, Louis 
R. Stickney, rector of the Cathedral, said the prayers for 
the dying. It was 1 1 133 o'clock when the heart gave its 
last feeble flutter and that wonderful pilgrimage on earth 
which had so profoundly affected the lives of countless 
thousands was finished. 


Baltimore, where the brilliant personality of Gibbons 
had been the dominant individual influence for so many 
years, was plunged into profound sorrow by his death as 
it had been by the death of no man in all the history 
of the city. As soon as word was conveyed to the Mayor, 
Mr. Broening, he ordered the bell of the City Hall to be 
tolled eighty-six times, once for each year of the Cardi- 
nal's life.^ The Mayor called a special session of the 
City Council, which adopted resolutions of eulogy. Pro- 
ceedings in all of the courts in the city were suspended 
as the bell began its sad message. In the Circuit Court, 
Isaac Lobe Straus, former Attorney General of Mary- 
land, a member of the Jewish faith, moved an adjourn- 
ment for the day, saying: 

*T have the very sad office of announcing to the Court 
that I have learned, as, doubtless your Honor has learned, 
of the decease of a great figure who, for half a century, 
has brought surpassing illustriousness to Maryland, and 
to the world, James Cardinal Gibbons. He has passed 
away. The world, this State, have suffered an irrepa- 
rable loss. Our people and people everywhere will mourn 
him; but his influence will live, his memory will live for- 
ever as one of the moral, spiritual and civic treasures 
of this State and of all the world." 

* Cardinal Gibbons died at the age of eighty-six years, eight months 
and one day. 



The legislatures of Maryland and New York ad- 
journed as a mark of respect. 

Far beyond his beloved Baltimore and Maryland, the 
death of Gibbons was marked by a voicing of the nation's 
sorrow such as had been invoked by the passing of only a 
few of the chosen figures in her history. President 
Harding sent the following message to Bishop Corrigan : 

"In common with all our people, I mourn the death 
of Cardinal Gibbons. His long and notable service to 
the country and to church makes us all his debtors. He 
was ever ready to lend his encouragement to any move- 
ment for the betterment of his fellow men. He was the 
very finest type of citizen and churchman. 

"It was my good fortune to know him personally and 
I held him in the highest esteem and veneration. His 
death is a distinct loss to the country, but it brings to 
fuller appreciation a great and admirable life." ^ 

Ex-President Taf t said : ^ 

"He did not belong to the Catholic Church alone, but 
he belonged to the country at large. He was Catholic 
not only in the religious sense, but in the secular sense. 

'Later President Harding wrote of him: "He was one of the men 
whom the Nation could ill spare, for his long and earnest service for 
both church and country had made him one of the most useful and wise 
counsellors in a wide realm of public concerns. He possessed in a 
marked measure the qualities of the statesman as well as the churchman, 
and his influence was invariably exerted in favor of the best conception 
of America, its institutions and its destiny. Like others who have borne 
a somewhat extraordinary burden in the public service, I had learned 
to appreciate and rely upon his sincerity and breadth of vision in many 
matters of public concern, and his death was a very real loss. I am 
sure the same feeling was entertained throughout the nation, regardless 
of creed. His liberal views had earned for him a high place in the 
esteem of all Christian citizens, and his services and leadership will not 
be forgotten." (Letter to the Rev. Albert E. Smith, Editor of the Balti- 
more Catholic Revieiv, March 20, 1922.) 

"The tribute of Mr. Taft and a number of the others which follow 
were expressed in formal statements prepared for and published in 


. . . He represented the highest moral aspirations of the 
community, and all classes of good people, without regard 
to creed, were grateful to him for his constant effort to 
make society better, to lift its members out of their sordid 
ambitions and pursuits and to aim at higher things. As 
a non-Catholic and a Unitarian I am glad to have this 
opportunity of bearing witness to the power for good 
which Cardinal Gibbons exercised." 

Vice-President Coolidge spoke in praise of the patri- 
otism, piety and scholarship which had characterized the 
Cardinal. Secretary of State Hughes said that Gibbons, 
with the "utmost devotion to his country, used his excep- 
tional gifts not only in the sphere of his religious work, 
but in cultivating among the people a sound patriotic 
sentiment. He had the respect and confidence of men 
of all faiths." Other members of the Cabinet joined in 
speaking of his services to religion and to country, as 
well as many members of both houses of Congress, among 
whom the acquaintance of Gibbons had been extensive. 
Senator Watson, of Indiana, said that he "represented 
the true spirit of America; his influence, like his life, 
was ideal." Senator Lodge, of Massachusetts, pro- 
nounced him "a thorough American in all his feelings, 
and not only a great leader of his own Church, but a 
devoted lover of his country and a leader of opinion in 
all that affected her welfare." Governors and mayors 
in a number of states joined in expressing high estimates 
of the services which he had rendered. 

When the news of Gibbons' death reached Pope Bene- 
difct, he said: 

"The death of our dearest brother, the Cardinal Arch- 
bishop of Baltimore, is a great grief not only for his dio- 


cese and his country, but also for the whole Church'. 
Cardinal Gibbons was the living testimony of the mag- 
nificent development and the powerful organization 
which the Catholic Church has attained in his country, 
and for this reason he, more than anybody else, could 
show to the people the marvelous fruits that the Church 
can produce for the good of mankind even in our times, 
and notwithstanding numberless difficulties. 

"Cardinal Gibbons, excellent priest, learned master, 
vigilant pastor, was also an exemplary citizen, and by 
the example and preaching of Christian virtues in private 
as well as in social life, he contributed efficaciously to 
the sound progress of his great country. His memory 
therefore must be cherished with profound veneration 
not only by every Catholic but also by every citizen of 
the United States of America." 

Archbishop Bonzano said that America had "lost one 
who really, during the last thirty or forty years, has been 
its most distinguished citizen," and that his was "the one 
name which won the favor and confidence of the whole 

Cardinal O'Connell said: 

"Cardinal Gibbons was America's first and finest citi- 
zen. American born and American trained, he cherished 
America's traditions and for more than half a century 
was actively engaged in promoting the noblest ideals of 
American life. All his years were devoted to serving the 
best interests of the American people. To every worthy 
movement he gave his encouragement and support. 

"The soundness of his judgment and the clearness of 
his vision made him a prudent counsellor whom statesmen 
sought when vital and complex problems called for solu- 
tion. With unerring accuracy he felt the pulse of the 
American public. With unusual keenness he detected 


and diagnosed social maladies even before others were 
conscious of their existence. These great gifts of mind, 
accompanied by exceptional wisdom, born of long years 
of varied experience, gave to his pronouncements an 
extraordinary value and won for his words respectful 

"Instinctively, in every great crisis, his fellow-country- 
men turned to him as a leader. Invariably, as if by habit, 
they found themselves awaiting his judgment on every 
important national issue. To him they were attracted 
no less by the magnetism of his personality than by the 
power of his statesmanship. 

"By the gentleness of his manner, by the broadness of 
his sympathies, by his loyal and patriotic devotion to 
national interests, whether in time of peace or in the time 
of war, he won them, irrespective of race, class or creed, 
and, type of true American, he gave to America the ex- 
ample of one who, after the service of God, desires noth- 
ing more earnestly than the service of his country. 

"More still, perhaps, will Cardinal Gibbons be remem- 
bered as an illustrious churchman. Few great ecclesiastics 
in modern times have played so large and so conspicuous 
a part in the religious life of their country. He had been 
closely identified with the Catholic Church in America 
for fully sixty years. For more than a generation he had 
presided over her destinies. Far back in the early sixties 
his ministry began. 

"In his long, laborious life he embodies the noble tradi- 
tions of those pioneer days, and from the splendid prel- 
ates who governed the church in the period of her strug- 
gling weakness he imbibed the majestic spirit with which 
he guided her so ably through years of marvellous growth 
and development to her present position of prominence 
and power. 

"All the arduous duties of his sacred office he fulfilled 
both wisely and well. Patience, tact and far-sightedness 


he possessed in uncommon measure, and those virtues, 
together with his untiring zeal and deep spirituality, 
were the secret of his success. 

"They were reflected in his grand achievements for 
the Church throughout America and in his masterly solu- 
tion of ecclesiastical problems of national importance. 
He helped to weld together into one harmonious body 
the various racial elements that constitute here the 
Church's membership. 

"As a great Bishop he championed the rights of the 
oppressed, and, when other advocates were few, he de- 
fended successfully the interests of the working classes. 
By voice and pen he destroyed religious prejudice 
and removed doctrinal misunderstandings." 

None had a better opportunity to appraise accurately 
the brotherly spirit of Gibbons than Bishop John Gard- 
ner Murray, of the Protestant Episcopal diocese of 
Maryland, who said: 

"The transfer of James Cardinal Gibbons to a higher 
sphere of activity removes from the stage of current 
human events the most prominent figure thereon in our 
country (and probably in the world) during the past 
half century. No other man in all that time has partici- 
pated so fully in the universal affairs of the world as has 
this good, able Cardinal. Certainly no contemporary 
has contributed quite so much to the history of American 
life in all its various departments. 

"As a man he was firm and steadfast in his plea for 
the sanctity of the home; was warm in his friendships, 
simple in his habits, pure in his conduct and pious in his 
every relationship with others. As a citizen he was a 
true patriot, a wise statesman, whose counsel was ever 
sought by all political leaders, and a noble type of con- 
structive, progressive American manhood." 


The Baltimore Federation of Churches, representing 
the Protestants of the city, faithfully reflected the broad 
charity with which Gibbons had dealt with men of all 
creeds by the adoption of these resolutions: 

"The Baltimore Federation of Churches desires to 
express the appreciation of the Protestant churches within 
its membership for the life and works of our fellow- 
citizen, James Cardinal Gibbons, and to extend to our 
fellow-Christians of the Roman Catholic Church our sym- 
pathy on the occasion of their great bereavement in the 
death of this pre-eminent leader and churchman. 

"His name has long been a household word in his be- 
loved Baltimore and the fame thereof has reached to 
world proportions. By the dedication of his life to great 
Christian ideals, as well as by his devotion to the estab- 
lishment of righteousness, he merits the praise and esteem 
of all men without distinction of creed or sect. All who 
aim to build the Kingdom of God on earth are mutually 
helpers one of another. 

"His has been a great constructive career and he had 
joy in seeing his own church prosper under his gifted 
leadership. His affability and kindness of spirit, always 
characteristic of his bearing toward others, made him a 
most agreeable companion and gave him popularity be- 
yond church lines. His broadmindedness was such as 
to promote good feelings between his own and the Prot- 
estant churches. Few have been the occasions of differ- 
ence through his administration of church affairs, and 
often co-operation in great enterprises for the common 
good has brought true Christian amity. 

"His death, therefore, is a matter of concern to all 
who follow the leadership of Jesus Christ. The Prot- 
estant churches of the Federation, therefore, record their 
sorrow in this hour of our mutual bereavement, and pray 
God's grace upon our Roman Catholic fellow-Christians." 


Individual Protestant ministers of Baltimore recalled 
his brotherly help to them. The Rev. Dr. Birckhead, 
rector of Emmanuel Protestant Episcopal Church, told 
how, when he first took charge of that church, coming 
from another city, Gibbons had visited him unexpectedly, 
extending to him a friendly welcome and wishing him 
success in his new work. The Rev. Dr. Zimmerman, 
pastor of Christ English Lutheran Church, spoke from 
the pulpit of his personal friendship with the Cardinal, 
saying: "I shall always remember his letter of con- 
gratulation to me on the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
my ministry in the city." 

Tributes to Gibbons as a churchman and a man were 
delivered by the pastors of a number of other Prot- 
estant churches in Baltimore on the Sunday following 
his death, emphasis being laid in all of these discourses 
upon his universal Christian charity and his breadth of 
soul and mind. 

Rabbi William Rosenau, in a sermon at Eutaw Place 
Terriple, one of the principal Jewish houses of worship in 
Baltimore, said of Gibbons: 

"As he was Baltimore's first citizen, so he may be re- 
garded as the country's finest American. . . . He be- 
longed not only to his church, but to the larger church 
of mankind, recognizing God as the Common Father. 
Nothing human was regarded as foreign by his 

A flood of messages from America and Europe express- 
ing grief, whose senders ranged from heads of States to 
humble persons into whose lives Gibbons had brought a 
touch of sunshine, poured into the archiepiscopal resi- 


dence. Those from Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops 
left no doubt that his brethren who had the best oppor- 
tunity of measuring his true stature considered him great. 
The message of the Apostolic Delegate in Washington 
called him a "great prelate" ; that of Cardinal O'Connell, 
"our great American Cardinal"; Cardinal Logue, of Ire- 
land, "a great and universally admired figure"; Cardinal 
Schulte, of Cologne, "the great Cardinal Gibbons"; 
Archbishop Redwood, of New Zealand, "Cardinal Gib- 
bons, the great"; Archbishop Dowling, of St. Paul, 
"great Bishop and greatest citizen" ; Archbishop Munde- 
lein, of Chicago, Bishop Curley, of St. Augustine, who 
was to succeed Gibbons, and Bishop O'Gorman, of Sioux 
Falls, in identical phrase, "our great leader"; Bishop 
Conroy, of Ogdensburg, and Bishop Fogarty, of Killaloe, 
Ireland, "the great Cardinal" ; Bishop Canevin, of Pitts- 
burgh, a "great citizen"; Bishop O'Dea, of Seattle, a 
"great pillar of the Church and State"; and Bishop 
Hoban, of Scranton, "our great Cardinal." 

Robert Underwood Johnson, the American Ambassa- 
dor at Rome, cabled: "Reverence to Cardinal Gibbons, 
who illustrated the greatness of goodness." 

An estimate, which may be regarded as fairly repre- 
sentative, of the place in his own country and the world 
which Gibbons occupied according to the contemporary 
judgment of his fellow-countrymen, was found in the 
average of the opinions expressed editorially in secular 
newspapers from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Scarcely a 
journal failed to express its own rating of his powers 
and their usefulness to mankind. These extracts will 
give an indication of the general view : 


The New York Times: 

"Cardinal Gibbons once called Mr. Roosevelt, his inti- 
mate friend for years, and Mr. Wilson, to whom in diffi- 
cult days he gave a cordial and potent support gratefully 
acknowledged, 'the most majestic figures' of our time in 
America. His own for many years had the majesty of 
ecclesiastical, moral and intellectual authority, the 
dignity, influence, power of a great nature and mind. 
He was one of the wisest men in the world." 

New York World: 

"Cardinal Gibbons was a great spiritual leader and a 
great American. In him were joined the moral authority 
of high office in the church and an unfailing sense of the 
duties of citizenship. . . . He never wavered in his faith 
in the ideals and principles of American democracy. He 
never hesitated to uphold them on critical occasions, 
though he ventured upon the ground of current contro- 
versies where many churchmen feared to tread. It was 
a privilege that he accepted as an obligation, and a right 
that he exercised with courage." 

New York Herald: 

"Never was a man more worthy to be called his Emi- 
nence than the Cardinal Archbishop of Baltimore. In- 
tellectually and spiritually his height was towering. He 
represented at once the most admirable qualities of his 
church and of American citizenship. When he spoke 
on matters of religion and morals the Roman Catholics 
of the United States turned to him for guidance. When 
he delivered opinions on things political, such as military 
training or socialism, men and women of all creeds 
listened. And usually in such matters he had a way of 
saying the right thing at the right time and saying it 


tactfully but plainly. Nearly always what he said was 
what the mind of America was thinking." 

Philadelphia Fublic Ledger: 

"One thinks of Cardinal Gibbons as a great American 
— of personal force, of intellectual acumen, of salient 
attainment, of loftiest purpose and incorruptible integrity 
of character. He is a national and not simply an eccle- 
siastical figure, and from coast to coast, and even in the 
isles of the sea, whenever Americans assemble, their sor- 
row is part of an international expression of grief and of 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: 

"James Cardinal Gibbons was a great churchman and 
a great American. Devoted to his work as the foremost 
leader of American Catholicism, he felt it to be an im- 
portant part of this work to interpret and even to partici- 
pate in the non-spiritual activities of the American na- 
tion. On any point of national moment the advice of 
Cardinal Gibbons was sought by Catholics and non- 
Catholics alike. . . . Always a democrat but never a 
radical, the words of Cardinal Gibbons carried weight 
where the advice of some less distinctly American coun- 
sellor might have been of lesser significance." 


The life which had been the highest expression of 
American Catholicism was marked at its close by the 
greatest tribute which the Church could offer. The 
funeral of Cardinal Gibbons was such as no other Ameri- 
can churchman ever had, in the massed grouping of so 
many of the Hierarchy and clergy, the presence of repre- 
sentatives of the governments of the nation, the State 
and the city, of foreign envoys, of clergymen and laymen 
of all religious faiths. He had broken down many bar- 
riers that divided men, and they knew no barriers in their 
reverent sharing in the rites with which his body was 
committed to the tomb. 

A week, in which the grief of Maryland and Balti- 
more was displayed as never before, intervened between 
his death and the last ceremony. Here was a prophet 
honored greatly abroad but most of all at home. Here 
had been a life of which the close view emphasized the 
larger virtues and brought to light a multitude of lesser 
ones undisclosed in the distant perspective. 

There was a Mass in his beloved Cathedral for chil- 
dren, whose friend he had ever been; another Mass for 
the sisterhoods and brotherhoods in the diocese, and a 
Pontifical Mass for the laity. Signs of public mourning 
were general. Governor Ritchie issued a proclamation 



requesting all persons within the State to "refrain from 
work and activities of every kind for one minute, and to 
offer a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness for the 
Cardinal" at ten o'clock Thursday morning, March 31, 
the hour fixed for the beginning of the funeral. The 
mayor of Baltimore issued a similar proclamation, and 
the president of the leading trade organization of the 
city added his appeal to theirs. 

For a few days after the Cardinal's death, the body 
lay in the little bedroom in the archiepiscopal residence 
which he had occupied. It had been clothed in a purple 
cassock with the alb over it, and the purple chasuble 
over the alb. A white miter was on the head. Over the 
bed was a picture of the Good Shepherd which had been 
his inspiration. It was a figure of Christ kneeling, the 
face bearing an expression of infinite tenderness, patience 
and pity. Upon this Gibbons had looked oftener than 
upon any other picture, and it had been the first sight 
which met his eyes every morning. Ranged about the 
walls were a few pictures of Saints and Popes and those 
of two priests who had been particularly dear to him. 
Both of them had been pastors in Baltimore. One of 
them was Monsignor McManus, and the other the Rev. 
John T. Gaitley, who had been his classmate at St. 
Charles' College. 

On Monday morning the body was removed to the 
Cathedral, where it lay in state, the red hat at the feet, 
the civic decorations which Gibbons had received from 
sovereigns and others near-by. A throng composed of 
persons in all gradations of life, representative of those 
to whom Gibbons' ministrations had been given, passed 


the catafalque to take a last look at the dead. More 
than two hundred thousand were admitted during the 
few days preceding the funeral. 

Within the Cathedral for the last ceremony were 
Cardinals O'Connell, of Boston, and Begin, of Quebec; 
ten Archbishops, forty-three Bishops, the faculty of the 
Catholic University of America, mitered Abbots, Jesuits, 
Redemptorists, Benedictines, Franciscans, members of 
other religious orders and a host of the secular clergy. 
There were Chief Justice White, of the United States 
Supreme Court, Postmaster General Hays, the represen- 
tative of President Harding, the Governors of Mary- 
land and Ohio, members of the Senate and the House 
of Representatives, envoys from a dozen foreign nations 
who had come from Washington, and Protestant and 
Jewish clergymen. In the words of Bishop Shahan, "no 
funeral in the new world has called forth so vast a re- 
sponse in the common heart, mostly a tribute to the man 
as distinct from his office." ^ 

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Bonzano, the 
Apostolic Delegate, and the funeral sermon was deliv- 
ered by Archbishop Glennon, of St. Louis. 

Funeral eulogies are often unconvincing, but in the 
case of Gibbons there could be no eulogy beyond that 
which had already been bestowed. Estimates of him 
remained to be given, but praise had been exhausted in 
the flood of gratitude from millions high and low. His 
contemporaries had not waited for posterity to discern 
his worth. 

^ James Cardinal Gibbons: In Memoriam; by the Rt. Rev. Thomas 
J. Shahan. 


Archbishop Glennon spoke the mind of Gibbons' col- 
leagues in the American Hierarchy. He linked Leo 
XIII, Manning and Gibbons as the three great men of 
the Church in the preceding half-century, who had turned 
the world from the dark valley of materialistic philosophy 
in which it had been wandering and brought it back to 
the serene and secure heights of spiritual religion. He 
spoke of Gibbons as a "great leader and soldier," a 
"great legislator" and a "great patriot," tracing the 
source of his extraordinary power to the "inner life of 
the man, which was a blending of strength and sweet- 
ness, of simplicity and prudence." The Archbishop said: 

"He was our leader, guide and father. We cannot 
forget his unfailing kindness — his prudent counsel. We 
fear and feel we shall not look on his like again. The 
Holy Father himself must have sensed our loss, as well 
as his own, since from the throne of the Fisherman he 
voices at once the sorrow of his own troubled heart and 
the sympathy of the Catholic world. 

"Sorrow so universal deserves recording; and yet I 
feel that more pressing even than tears is our duty to- 
day to express our gratitude to the Almighty — to thank 
God for Cardinal Gibbons. 

"It appears to be true that for every great crisis in 
history Providence, as Balmes says, holds in reserve a 
remarkable man. Now fifty years ago there was such a 
crisis. The crosses were taken from courthouse and 
schoolroom and the living Church was everywhere com- 
bated, made to feel that its days were numbered. For 
now the world was told by the scientists that it was com- 
plete without God; that there was no God, unlesSj in- 
deed, such divinity as man could of himself attain. It 
was an age of invention, of discovery, of material 


progress. So science in its triumph thought it could 
despise and reject the Deity. It would take His place 
in ruling the world. 

"Fifty years ago this philosophy appealed to the multi- 
tude as a new revelation. It was enthroned in the uni- 
versities. It was encouraged by the statesmen; for well 
these latter knew that the more the people sink in mate- 
rialism, scientific or otherwise, the more autocratic may 
the civil power become. When the deadly miasma was 
spreading o'er the land, attracting the multitude by the 
phosphorescence of its own decay, there appeared on 
the horizon three men, who, though separated by the 
waters of the sea, were one in purpose, one in faith, one 
in consecration. And the first of these, and the greatest, 
was that great Pontiff, who then guided and guarded the 
destinies of Christendom. 

"The immortal Leo XIII flung down the challenge to 
the schools and the scoffers — to the university and the 
stateman. He takes his stand for the blessed Christ, 
whose Vicar he is. He proclaims the great truth that 
human science counts for little unless it seeks its comple- 
ment in the science that is of God divine. He preaches 
the true philosophy of which St. Thomas was the great 
proponent, that philosophy which proclaims that man 
has an immortal spiritual soul, that it is thereby he at- 
tains his true 'dignity. He organizes the Christian uni- 
versities; and gives to them the mandate and the in- 
spiration. He brings back the light of faith to the soul 
of the child ; and in the face of opposition from the civil 
governments proclaims the inalienable right of impart- 
ing Catholic truth to the children of the faith. 

"Lastly, in his great encyclical on labor, he asserts 
and defines to a world still, in spite of all its science, half 
feudalistic, the dignity, rights and duties of labor. His 
teaching is that the workman has the right to combine, 


but not to conspire — that he has a duty to work honestly 
(as we all have) and the right to such remuneration as 
will make it possible for him to live a man among his 
fellows, with a home where his children may grow as 
befits the children of God. 

"So taught Leo fifty years ago. He did not stand 
alone. First, Manning, of England, with the intensity 
and consecration that soon marked him as a leader ; while 
here in America down in the Southland the Blessed Mas- 
ter found the third great champion of his cause. 

"Leo XIII, Manning, of Westminster, and Gibbons, 
of Baltimore I These three, and these the causes they 
served: First, to win the world back from the false 
philosophy of the scientists to the true philosophy of the 
Cross, hence the encyclicals of Leo; second, to establish 
universities and schools where that true philosophy would 
find a home and an exposition, hence the Catholic Uni- 
versity, of which Cardinal Gibbons was founder, patron 
and chancellor; third, to establish the rights of labor on 
the sound principles of the moral law, taking into ac- 
count the value of labor, but more than that the char- 
acter and the dignity of the worker — hence the encyclical 
on labor — hence the action of Cardinal Gibbons in behalf 
of the Knights of Labor." 

Taking up some other accomplishments by Gibbons, 
Archbishop Glennon continued: 

"In his vicariate of the South, while attending to a 
scattered flock, he had time to bring the fullness of the 
ancient faith into the emptiness of modern thought and 
write The Faith of Our Fathers' — our best 'apologia' in 
the English language — the best when written fifty years 
ago — the best now, and we have reason to believe even 
latest history will not record a better, 

"Impartial history will tell us that the most important 


and, in its results, the most far-reaching of all the na- 
tional councils held since the Council of Trent, was the 
Third Plenary Council of Baltimore — how by it were 
formed and fashioned the laws and the government of 
the American Church — how it became the exemplar for 
all the national councils since its promulgation; and 
history will not deny that its quality, efficiency, the op- 
portuneness of its mandates are largely due to its emi- 
nent chairman and president, our venerated Cardinal, 
who not only presided over its every session, but has since, 
with unfailing diligence, watched over its acceptance and 

"Turn we to his other great work, the Catholic Uni- 
versity. While under Papal charter, the Cardinal was 
in effect its head, its heart and its inspiration. He gave 
to it his best thought, his warmest affection and his un- 
failing support. He looked to it to carry out his life 
work — to bring the mind of the Church to all the ques- 
tions of the age, and stand as a light perermial to the 
nation and the world. 

"Paralleling the dying request of a national hero of 
other days, the Cardinal, were he to speak, would, I 
believe, leave as a heritage his body to Baltimore, his 
heart to the university and his soul to God. Most cer- 
tainly he now bequeaths its care to us as a sacred trust; 
and I am convinced that I rightly interpret the will and 
wish of both clergy and laity of the American Church 
in declaring now beside his mortal remains that we will 
not break faith with him — that for his sake and for the 
sake of our ancient faith and for the sake of eternal truth 
this great school shall endure and prosper, supported 
by a united and a generous people. 

"Here, then, are the salient traits of the illustrious 
dead: He was a great leader and soldier, whose sword 
was ever ready to defend the Christ and His kingdom. 
He was the great legislator, wise in counsel, prudent in 


action, just in his decisions. He would have the world 
know Christ was the truth and the life. 

"Lastly he was the great patriot. He cared not for the 
ways or weaknesses of party; but they whom the people 
chose as President and as legislators were his President 
and his government. And how bravely he spoke his ad- 
miration for, his love of, his country and its institutions I 
Always eloquent, he was never more so than when, with 
the vision before his mind of the great dome at Wash- 
ington and what it meant, he spoke of this land as the 
home of justice and liberty." 

The eloquent preacher emphasized in polished periods 
Gibbons' confidence in the recovery of the world, espe- 
cially the recovery of America, after the World War, as 
an index of the unwavering faith which inspired him 
in life and cheered him in death. 

With the giving of the absolutions, the distinguished 
throng in the Cathedral dispersed, and there remained 
but the committal of the body to the crypt beneath the 
sanctuary. It was borne there by members of Gibbons' 
household, assisted by several others, as the bells of 
the Catholic churches in the city tolled. Only a few 
persons witnessed this ceremony, which ended with the 
chanting of the De Profundis, and the last absolution 
by Bishop Corrigan. 

Thus passed from earth a beneficent figure who was 
at the same time one of the most masterful personalities 
contributed by America to mankind. Cardinal Gibbons, 
apart from his leadership as an ecclesiastic, stood among 
a small group who in the comparatively brief national 
life of the United States have been preeminent as bul- 
warks of the system of political and social welfare for 


which the country stands, its solidity, permanency and 
orderly development. When the labor movement, 
bursting in the new world the bonds of centuries, rose 
suddenly as a strange and incalculable force, he was 
one of the chief instruments in turning that force into 
the normal current of democratic evolution ; when immi- 
gration for whose numbers the world knew no precedent 
threatened to shake the foundations on which the fathers 
of the nation had built, he did more than any other man 
to destroy its power for harm and enhance its power 
for good ; when the most colossal of wars came, revealing 
the wondrous spectacle of national unity rising out of 
former elements of discord, his vision and his effort found 
vindication and then, by marshaling 17,000,000 Catho- 
lics as a compact force in support of the government, he 
proved every word he had uttered about the linking of 
religion and patriotism; when angry and heedless forces 
of radicalism at the close of the war again made neces- 
sary a call for that vigilance which has always been the 
price of liberty, he had already stifled Socialism and he 
stood as a strong wall against the bombs and ravings of 

It seemed that Providence had spared the preeminent 
patriot-prelate of America beyond the span of average 
life that in his age he might show forth the full fruits 
of his greatest labors for country and crown them with 
a new harvest. He passed in peace, a peace that fol- 
lowed many battles, and the trophies of his victories 
were around him. 

And yet this man, a leader among leaders, so often a 
companion of the great, had the simple heart of a simple 


priest and rejoiced in the rescue of a waif as second to 
no triumph he could win. Early he had chosen the life 
of an obscure rector of an obscure parish and was con- 
tent to be no more, even resisted the call to be more; 
elevated by force of gifts and merits to be the youngest 
Bishop in the world, he put aside the offer of the first 
archiepiscopal seat in America on the ground that he was 
unfitted for it, and only accepted it after a long period 
of reluctance; forced thus against his own will to be a 
commander-in-chief, he rose to heights which gave his 
post a new meaning in the eyes of those without as well 
as those within the Catholic fold. 

Still his main aspiration was unchanged, but broad- 
ened. He was the rector and father of millions where 
he had been the shepherd of a handful. To him the voic- 
ing of one soul's deliverance was sweeter than the public 
acclaim that was showered upon him so often. He clung 
to his religious devotions as the first and chief duty of 
every day, to simple acts of kindness to all without parti- 
tion of creed or race as the choicest products of his mis- 
sion on earth. With him religion was a real thing — 
the greatest reality of life — and his eyes were fixed on 
it as his support and his guide in manifold labors that 
left an indelible stamp upon the fabric of contempora- 
neous history. 

That he was a Christian was a glory of all Christians ; 
that he was a Catholic was a glory of all Catholics. 

To those who saw from afar, his wider acts of accom- 
plishment were the measure of him ; but what impression 
remained with the hundreds, even thousands, who felt 
directly in the course of his long life the personal force 


of the man, who heard his voice, touched his hand, came 
under the power of his striking and distinctive per- 
sonality? Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, 
Pope and President, statesman and street urchin, the 
high and the low of many degrees, would frame their 
answers differently; but all who knew him shared in one 
composite thought, overshadowing and embracing other 
thoughts of him, the blend of his legacy to his fellow- 
men — Here was a man of God. 






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Desmond, Humphrey J,: The A. P. A. Movement; Washington, 1912. 

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Manning, Cardinal: True Story of the Vatican Council; London, 1871. 

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Memorial Volume, Third Plenary Council of Baltimore; Baltimore, 

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New York Times, The. 

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Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 2, 

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Outlook, The (New York). 

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New York, 1893. 
Reily, John T. : Collections in the Life and Times of Cardinal Gib- 
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Rhodes, James Ford: History of the United States; Volume IV; New 

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Riordan, the Rev. M. J.: Cathedral Records from the Beginning of 

Catholicity in Baltimore to the Present Time; Baltimore, 1906. 
Russell, the Rt. Rev. William T. : Maryland, the Land of Sanctuary; 

Baltimore, 1907. 
Satolli, Cardinal: Loyalty to Church and State; Baltimore, 1905. 
Saturday Review, The (London). 
Scharf, John Thomas: Chronicles of Baltimore, Baltimore, 1874; 

History of Baltimore City and County, Philadelphia, 1881. 
Sedgwick, Henry D., Jr.: Life of Father Hecker; Boston, 1890. 
Sermons and Pastoral Letters, Second Plenary Council, Baltimore, 1866. 
Shahan, the Rt. Rev. Thomas J.: James Cardinal Gibbons, In Me- 

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Shea, John Gilmary: History of the Catholic Church in the United 

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Smith, the Rev. Albert E., and Vincent de P. Fitzpatrick: Cardinal 

Gibbons, Churchman and Citizen; Baltimore, 1921. 
Southern Cross, The. 

Spanish Diplomatic Correspondence and Documents, 1896-1900. 
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Wilmington (N. C.) Daily Journal, The. 
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XIII; New York, 1903. 


Abbelen, the Rev. P. M., repre- 
sentative in Rome of Amer- 
ican Cahenslyites, I-S17; Ire- 
land and Keane reply to his 
arguments, I-5 18-521 ; G. and 
Archbishops of N. Y., Phila- 
delphia and Boston, also 
reply, I-521. 

Accession, vote of, in a Papal con- 
clave, II-641. 

Accidents, life of G. saved in 
driving accident, II-963, 964; 
in railroad accident, II-965. 

Achilli, ex-priest, G's conversation 
with Cardinal Newman on 
the case of, i-215. 

Acquaintance, personal, of Cardi- 
nal Gibbons, II-921, 922. 

Actors and Actresses, a number 
of them devoted to G., al- 
though he never attended a 
theatre, II-917. 

Adelphi Theatre, Baltimore, 
Junius Brutus Booth played 
at, in G.'s boyhood, I-9. 

Adramyttum, first titular See of 
G. as Bishop, I-82. 

Aguis, Apostolic Delegate to 
Philippines, obtains G.'s help 
in protection of Church in 
Philippines, II-622. 

Albert, King of the Belgians, en- 
tertains G. in Brussels 
(1914), II-757; meets him 
while visiting U. S. after 
World War, receives honor- 
ary degree at Catholic Uni- 
versity of America, II-835. 

Alexander VI, Pope, Bull of 
demarcation as to lands in 
western hemisphere, I-117. 

Alexandria, Va., visited by G. as 
Bishop, I- 147, 148. 

Alger, Russell A., U. S. Secretary 
of War, prevents persecution 
of clergy by t'ilipinos in 1898, 

All Saints, Feast of, decree of 
Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore on, I-251. 

American Catholic League, 
formed to combat intolerance 
concerning religion, I-S38. 

American College, Rome, G. un- 
able to raise subscriptions for 
in vicariate of N. C. because 
of poverty of people, I-104; 
he attends meeting in N. Y. 
in interest of, I-177; protests 
in pastoral letter against its 
seizure by Italian Govern- 
ment, I-240 to 245 ; U. S. 
Government protests to Italy, 
I-246; G. writes to Cardinal 
Simeoni on efforts to prevent 
seizure ; property restored by 
Italy, I-248; G. a guest there 
in 1903, II-652. 

American Protective Association 
(A. P. A.), its rise as a focus 
of intolerance concerning re- 
ligion, I-534; attacks on G., 
Satolli and others, I-535-S39; 
Cleveland's rebuke of intoler- 
ance, 1-537- 

Americanism, in the Catholic 
Church ; question of exclud- 
ing foreign nationalist influ- 
ences from the Church in 
America raised by the Ca- 
hensly agitation, I-498; Peter 
Cahensly's earlier efforts in 
Germany concerning emi- 
grants to U. S., I-498 to 500; 
aims of the Archangel Raph- 
ael Society, of which he 




was secretary; greatly wid- 
ened, l-soi ; its methods tend 
to long continued preserva- 
tion of nationality and lan- 
guage of immigrants in U. 
S., 1-501, 502; advocates ap- 
pointment of Bishops on 
basis of nationality, I-502, 
504; asserts large defections 
from the Church by immi- 
grants in U. S., I-503; .G. 
strongly opposes introduction 
of permanent foreign influ- 
ences in Church in U. S., 
1-505 to 509; political authori- 
ties disturbed by Cahensly 
movement, I-510; campaigns 
in Rome conducted by sup- 
porters and opponents of 
Cahenslyism, I-512; G.'s inter- 
view in Frankfurter Zeitung, 
I-513, 514; the Rev. P. M. 
Abbelen spokesman of Amer- 
ican Cahenslyites in Rome, 
I-517; presents plea, there, 
Ireland and Keane reply, I- 
518 to 521 ; G. and Archbish- 
ops of New York, Philadel- 
phia and Boston also reply to 
Abbelen, I-521 ; G.'s vigorous 
letter to Archbishop Elder on 
the subject, I-522; calls meet- 
ing of Archbishops, who 
frame protest to Propaganda, 
I-522, 523; Pope refuses Ca- 
hensly petition for appoint- 
ment of nationalist Bishops, 
I-523 ; President Harrison 
commends G. for his stand, I- 
523 to 526; G.'s sermon in 
Milwaukee, Aug. 20, 1891, de- 
claring that "God and our 
Country" should be the 
watchword for all in Amer- 
ica, regardless of origin, 
I-527 to 530; Cardinal Ledo- 
chowski, in letter to G., urges 
that Cahenslyite agitation be 
stopped, I-530 to 532; Ca- 
henslyites attack Bishop 
Keane, I-532 ; Keane removed 
as rector of Catholic Uni- 

versity, 1-533, 534; intolerant 
movement of American Pro- 
tective Association attributed 
in part to the Cahensly agita- 
tion, I-535 to 540; G.'s victory 
in the controversy a powerful 
force in solidifying Amer- 
icans in support of the gov- 
ernment in the World War, 
I-540 to 542; the question of 
Americanism takes a new 
form in the controversy over 
the "Life of Father Hecker," 
I-544; Hecker's views on de- 
velopment of individuality 
within limits defined by Vati- 
can Council, I-546, 547; G.'s 
admiration for Hecker, I-549 
to 551; Hecker's views mis- 
interpreted in Europe as un- 
dermining the Church's au- 
thority, 1-55 1, 552; Leo 
Xni's letter to G. on Ameri- 
canism, I-552 to 557; G.'s 
reply thanking him for dis- 
pelling misunderstandings, I- 
557, 558. 

Ammen, Admiral, brings G. in 
contact with President Hayes 
on welfare of Catholic In- 
dians, I-201. 

Anarchists, G. preaches on riots 
in Chicago, I-217 to 219. 

Anderson, Lieut., frees army 
prisoners at Fort Vancouver 
in honor of G., I-401. 

Anecdotes, of Cardinal Gibbons, 
exceptional number told of 
him, II-966, 967 ; many of 
them concerning children, of 
whom he was very fond, II- 
967; playfulness with altar 
boys, 11-967^ 968; with boy 
ushers at his front door, II- 
968, 969; interest in waifs, 
II-969, 970; forgives offenders 
at St. Mary's Industrial 
School, II-970; visits Juvenile 
Court in Baltimore, II-973; 
Santa Claus for children at 
St. Mary's Asylum, 11-973; 
appreciation of gifts from 



children, II-974; hears little 
girl's first confession, 11-975 ; 
comforts orphans, deprived 
of their institutional home 
by fire, II-975 ; hears confes- 
sions of embarrassed couple, 
II-975. 976; experiences with 
a family in Southern Mary- 
land overcome by awe of him, 
II-976 to 978; kindness to 
negroes, II-979, 980; relieves 
embarrassment of hostess in 
New Orleans, II-980, 981 ; 
exchanges repartee with Sen- 
ator Bayard, II-981 ; fond- 
ness for the hymn, "Lead, 
Kindly Light," II-981, 982; 
saved by student from injury 
while walking in Baltimore, 
I-22S, 226; on punctuality re- 
turning from walks, I-226; on 
respect shown to by con- 
gregation emerging from 
Protestant Church, I-189; on 
experience with refractory 
horse, I- 198; settles dispute 
over baseball game among 
boys on street, I-224; supple- 
ments priest's sermon by 
appeal to non-Catholics, 

Annecy, Bishop of, G.'s impres- 
sions of his restriction by 
French Government, I-138. 

Anti-Poverty Society, New York; 
the Rev. Edward McGlynn, 
formerly president of, I- 

Apostolic Delegate, general func- 
tions of Archbishop of Balti- 
more before the appointment 
of, 1-66; G. appointed as 
Delegate to preside over 
Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, I-241 ; G. opposes 
establishment of direct rela- 
tions between Vatican and U. 
S. in 1885, I-458, 459; renews 
opposition in 1886-87, I-459; 
letter to Archbishop Elder on 
the subject, I-459, 460; oppo- 
sition based on his views 

of respective functions of the 
Church and State, I-450; 
growth of Catholic Church in 
U. S. causes revival of ques- 
tion, I-463 ; Satolli sent as 
Papal representative to Co- 
lumbian Exposition, I-464 to 
ii,(i^ ; appointed temporary 
Apostolic Delegate to Church 
in America, I-466 ; success of 
his mission, I-468; appointed 
permanent Apostolic Dele- 
gate, without diplomatic 
status, I-469; G.'s objections 
removed by manner of ap- 
pointment and its results, 
I-469; Satolli relieves Mc- 
Glynn of excommunication, 
I-376 ; Satolli at meeting of 
Archbishops, outlines 14 prop- 
ositions on school ques- 
tion, I-488 to 490; Leo XIII 
on authority of American 
Bishops, I-S74, 575 ; Leo XIII 
commends Satolli's work in 
conversation with G. in 
Rome, I-578 ; ceremonies in 
Baltimore Cathedral attend- 
ing elevation of Satolli to 
Cardinalate, I-470; Satolli's 
gratitude for G.'s help, I-470; 
Martinelli succeeds him, I- 
471 ; Falconio succeeds Mar- 
tinelli, II-678; visit of Bon- 
zano to G. shortly before his 
death, II- 1044, 1045. 

Arabic, steamship, sinking of, G.'s 
comment on, II-809. 

Arbitration, of international dis- 
putes, G.'s letter in conjunc- 
tion with Cardinals Logue 
and Vaughan in 1896, in be- 
half of a permanent tribunal 
of arbitration, II-596 to 599; 
advocates arbitration in ser- 
mon at Baltimore Cathedral, 
II-599; letter to Cleveland 
commending Venezuela arbi- 
tration, II-596; support of 
Papal oflFer of mediation be- 
tween Spain and U. S. in 
1898, 11-603. 



Archangel Raphael Society (of 
which Peter Cahensly was 
secretary) {see Cahenslyism). 

Archiepiscopal residence, of G. in 
Baltimore ; its history, I-80, 
81 ; G.'s life there, 1865-68, I- 
81 ; in early years as Arch- 
bishop, I-229 to 233; in later 
years, II-907 to 926. 

Armistice, in World War, G.'s 
support of peace policies 
after, II-830 to 842. 

Ascension, Feast of, decree of 
Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore on, I-251. 

Assembly, colonial, of Maryland, 
passage of Toleration Act of 
1649, 1-6. 

Australia, Plenary Council in, 
patterned after Third, of Bal- 
timore, I-235. 

Authorship of Cardinal Gibbons, 
story of the writing of "The 
Faith of Our Fathers," II-878 
to 882 ; conceived as a mis- 
sionary treatise, II-879; ex- 
tracts from the book, II-880 
to 882; considered to be un- 
equalled as a concise explana- 
tion of the Church's history, 
doctrines and mission, II-883 ; 
its limpid literary style, II- 
884 ; 2,000,000 copies circulated 
in G.'s lifetime, II-879; G. 
amazed at its popularity, II- 
885 ; broad charity of the 
book appeals to non-Catho- 
lics, 11-886, 887; his second 
book, "Our Christian Heri- 
tage," 11-888 to 897; defence 
of Christianity addressed to 
the average reader's intellect, 
11-888 ; a non-sectarian work, 
11-888, 889; discussion of 
public questions in, as asso- 
ciated with Christianity, II-890 
to 897; his third book, "The 
Ambassador of Christ," II- 
897 to 901 ; intended for 
guidance of priesthood, II- 
898; topics discussed in the 
book, II-899; "Discourses 

and Sermons," II-901 ; "Re- 
trospect of Fifty Years" 
covers Church history and 
social problems, II-901 ; ex- 
pression of satisfaction in, for 
understanding of Catholic 
Church by Americans, II-903. 

Baker, Newton D., U. S. Secre- 
tary of War, estimates that 
Catholics form one-third of 
American forces in World 
War, 11-815. 

Baldwin, Oliver P., originated 
and planned great civic cele- 
bration in Baltimore of G.'s 
jubilee in 191 1, II-691. 

Ballinrobe, Ireland, second boy- 
hood home of G., I-ii. 

Ballot Frauds, denounced by G., 
II-800, 801. 

Ballots, in a Papal conclave, II- 
640 to 642. 

Baltimore, G. born there, I-i ; life 
of his parents in, I-2, 3, 4, 5, 
9, 10; house in which he was 
born, I-i, 4; development of 
the city in his youth, I-3, 4, 9; 
influential Catholic families 
in, I-7; importance of, as a 
centre of Catholic life in the 
U. S., I-79, 80; archiepiscopal 
residence in, I-80, 81 ; G. sails 
from to attend Vatican Coun- 
cil, I-120; imposing ecclesias- 
tical ceremonies often seen in, 
I-183 ; gathering of Hierarchy 
in for conferring of pallium 
on G., I-183, 187 ; his popu- 
larity among people of all 
creeds in city, I-188, 189; pro- 
motes general celebration of 
Thanksgiving Day in, I-207, 
209 ; aids sesqui-centennial 
celebration of, I-210, 211; 
habit of taking long walks in, 
I-221 to 226; progress of 
Church in, while G. was 
Archbishop, I-228 ; Second 
Plenary Council of, I-73 to 79; 
Third Plenary Council of, 



I-234 to 276; people of all 
creeds welcome G.'s eleva- 
tion to Sacred College, I-290, 
291 ; he summons Powderly 
before Archbishops there for 
inquiry on Knights of Labor, 
I-326, ^-7 ; great public wel- 
come given him on return 
from Rome in 1887, 1-385 to 
389; Church celebration in, of 
jubilee of Leo XIII in 1888, 
I-412 to 415; President Cleve- 
land's expression on G. as 
ornament to city, I-418; cele- 
bration in, of centennial of 
American Hierarchy, I-432 to 
440 ; ceremonies attending 
elevation of Satolli to Cardi- 
nalate, I-470; in honor of 
400th anniversary of dis- 
covery of America, I-567; in 
honor of silver jubilee of G.'s 
episcopate, II-585 to 589; 
celebration of 25th anni- 
versary of Leo XIII as Pope, 
II-633 ; ovation to G. on re- 
turn from Rome in 1903 and 
1908, II-665 to 669; centenary 
of Cathedral celebrated, II- 
678 to 682 ; public reception 
to visiting Hierarchy, II-682; 
G. assists movement for me- 
morial to the dead of battle- 
ship Maine, II-602; visits sick 
soldiers in Spanish-American 
War, 11-608; celebration in, of 
G.'s silver jubilee as Cardinal 
and golden jubilee as priest, 
marked by honors never be- 
fore accorded to an Ameri- 
can churchman, 11-688 to 739; 
his prophetic sermon as great 
fire of 1904 was beginning, 
II-740 to 741 ; citizenship in, 
II-761 to 763; prayer at Demo- 
cratic convention which nom- 
inated Wilson for president, 
11-765, 766; address at Third 
National Peace Congress in, 
II-775 ; attack on sweat shop 
evil, II-801 ; prays for peace 
in 1914, at convention of 

American Federation of Cath- 
olic societies in, II-807, 808; 
visit of Henry Ford to G., on 
peace steps, II-811 ; sermon in 
Baltimore Cathedral on Ger- 
man war aims, II-823 ; address 
to war mothers, II-827, 828; 
role as the first citizen of, 
for many years, II-931 ; wide- 
spread expressions of public 
grief on his death, II-1047, 
1048, 1058, 1059. 

Baltimore Cathedral ; see Cathe- 
dral, Baltimore. 

Bamabo, Cardinal, sends letter 
from Rome confirming G.'s 
nomination as Vicar Apos- 
tolic of North Carolina, I-76. 

Barnum's Hotel, Baltimore, in 
G.'s boyhood, I-9. 

Barton, Bruce, author of article 
on G.'s optimism in his last 
illness, II-I041. 

Bavaria, German Catholic emi- 
grants from to U. S., I-499. 

Bayard, Thomas F., U. S. Senator 
from Del., meets G. at dinner 
party in Washington, I-201. 

Bayley, Archbishop, appointed to 
See of Baltimore, I-146; G. 
assists him in confirmations in 
Baltimore archdiocese, I-iSi ; 
sketch of B., I-167; his ap- 
preciation of G.'s talents, I- 
167, 168; letters exchanged by 
them, I-168 to 173; his health 
becomes infirm, I-169; pro- 
poses G.'s appointment as co- 
adjutor with right of succes- 
sion, I-171, 172; G. unwilling 
to accept, I-172, 173; Bayley 
prevails upon him to accept, 
I-174; death of B., I-175; his 
funeral, I-176; tribute to by 
G., I-186. 

Becker, The Rev. A., consulted by 
G. on Baltimore archdiocesan 
library, I-71, 72; consecrated 
Bishop of Wilmington, Del., 
I-82; his diocese, I-82, 83; T. 
A., pontificated at installation 
of G. as Bishop of Richmond, 



I-146; present at conferring 
of pallium on G., I-184. 

Begin, Cardinal, of Quebec, pres- 
ent at celebration of G.'s 
golden jubilee as Bishop, II- 
759; at funeral of G., II-1060. 

Belgium, G.'s work in America 
for Relief Fund, II-805 ; com- 
ment on course of in World 
War, II-805, 806; acquaint- 
ance with King Albert and 
Queen Elizabeth, 11-757, 805; 
views on Congo question, II, 


Belmont, N. C, a seat of Bene- 
dictine Order, I-112. 

Benedict, XV, his election as 
Pope, II-807; policies in 
World War defended by G., 
II-807 ; letter commending 
Catholic university, H-746; 
letter on golden jubilee of 
G.'s episcopate, II-758, 759 ; 
President Wilson's visit to 
II-830, 832; conveys sympathy 
to G. in last illness, II-1032. 

Benedictine Order, established at 
Belmont, N. C. while G. was 
Vicar Apostolic, I-112, 113; 
represented at conferring of 
red biretta on G., I-284. 

Benoit, Canon, Rector of Mill 
Hill College, Eng., assists 
G. in sending priests for work 
among negroes in U. S., I-383. 

Biretta, red, conferred on G. In 
Baltimore Cathedral, I-282 to 

Birthplace of Cardinal Gibbons, 
house in which he was born in 
Baltimore, I-i, 4, 5. 

Blackburn, Colonel Luke, G.'s ex- 
periences with, on a Missis- 
sippi River steamboat, I-60, 

Blaine, James, Secretary of State 
of U. S., address at dedica- 
tion of School of Sacred Sci- 
ences at Catholic University, 
I-451 ; his friendship for G., 
comment on uncertainty of 
public life, I-216, 217. 

"Blood Tubs," Know Nothing 
group which was violent at 
Canton, the scene of G.'s first 
pastorate, I-48. 

Bolivia, G. transmits to Vatican 
letter of Methodists on their 
status in, I-580. 

Bolsheviki, of Russia, G.'s con- 
demnation of, II-834. 

Bonaparte, Charles J., welcomes 
G. in behalf of Catholic laity 
on return from Rome in 1887, 

Bonzano, Archbishop, Papal Dele- 
gate, visit to G. in last illness, 
II-1044, 1045 ; tribute to, II- 
1050; celebrates Mass at 
funeral of G., II-1060. 

Booth, Junius Brutus, played at 
Adelphi Theatre, Baltimore, 
in G.'s boyhood, I-9. 

Bourget, Paul, comment on G. as 
an ascetic, II-619. 

Bourne, Cardinal, G. guest of, in 
London, 11-757- 

Bowie, Oden, Governor of Mary- 
land, entertains G., I-197. 

Broening, Mayor, of Baltimore, 
orders public tribute to G. at 
his death, II-1047. 

Brondel, Bishop, of Helena, 
Mont, welcomes G. on 
Western tour, I-399. 

Brotherhoods, railroad (branch of 
labor movement) growth in 
G.'s life-time, I-336. 

Brown, John, his Harper's Ferry 
raid discussed by students of 
St. Mary's Seminary when G. 
was a student there, I-42. 

Brownson, Orestes A., lecture by 
him helps to influence G. to 
enter priesthoodj I-20. 

Bruchesi^ Archbishop, of Mon- 
treal, conveys felicitations of 
Canadian Catholics to G. at 
his jubilee in 191 1, II-728. 

Bryan, Wm. J., meets G. in Balti- 
more, II-766. 

Bryce, James, lauds G. as patriot 
at civic celebration of his 
jubilee in 191 1, II-699, 700. 



Bulls, Papal, appointing G. Vicar 
Apostolic of N. C, I-76; sum- 
moning Vatican Council, I- 
119, 120. 

Burke, Bishop, of Albany, his 
recollections of G. at St. 
Charles College, I-33, 34. 

Burke, the Rev. John J., founds 
Chaplains' Aid Association in 
World War, II-817; first 
president of National Catholic 
War Council, II-818, S19. 

Burtsell, the Rev. Richard L., 
supporter of Henry George 
and Dr. McGlynn in New 
York, I-362 ; deprived of his 
pastorate, I-372 ; intercedes 
with G. for McGlynn, 1-374. 
375 ; his faculties restored, I- 

Cabinet, U. S., members of attend 
college commencement with 

G., 1-202. 

Cahenslyism, question of exclud- 
ing foreign nationalist influ- 
ences from the Church in 
America raised by the Ca- 
hensly agitation, I-498; Peter 
Cahensly's earlier efforts in 
Germany concerning emi- 
grants to U. S., I-498 to 500; 
aims of the Archangel 
Raphael Society, of which he 
was Secretary, greatly wid- 
ened, I-501 ; its methods tend 
to the long continued preser- 
vation of the nationality and 
language of immigrants in 
U. S., I-501, 502; advocates 
appointment of Bishops on 
basis of nationality, I-502, 
504; asserts large defections 
from the Church by immi- 
grants in U. S., I-503 ; G. 
strongly opposes introduction 
of permanent foreign influ- 
ences in the Church in U. S., 
I-505 to 509 ; political authori- 
ties disturbed by Cahensly 
movement, I-510; campaigns 
in Rome conducted by sup- 

porters and opponents of 
Cahenslyism, I-S12; G.'s in- 
terview in Frankfurter Zei- 
tung, I-S13, 514; the Rev. 
P. M. Abbelen spokesman of 
American Cahenslyites in 
Rome, I-S17; presents plea 
there, Ireland and Keane 
reply, I-S18 to 521; G. and 
Archbishops of New York, 
Philadelphia and Boston also 
reply to Abbelen, I-521 ; G.'s 
vigorous letter to Archbishop 
Elder on the subject, I-522; 
calls meeting of Archbishops, 
who frame protest to Propa- 
ganda, I-522, 523 ; Pope re- 
fuses Cahensly petition for 
appointment of nationalist 
Bishops, I-S23 ; President 
Harrison commends G. for his 
stand, I-523 to 526; G.'s ser- 
mon in Milwaukee, Aug. 20, 
1891, declaring that "God and 
our Country" should be the 
watchword for all in Amer- 
ica, regardless of origin, I- 
527 to 530; Cardinal Ledo- 
chowski, in letter to G. urges 
that Cahenslyite agitation be 
stopped, I-530 to 532; Ca- 
henslyites attack Bishop 
Keane, I-532; Keane removed 
as rector of Catholic Uni- 
versity, I-533, 534; intolerant 
movement of American Pro- 
tective Association attributed 
in part to Cahensly agitation, 
I-535 to 540; G.'s victory in 
the controversy a powerful 
force in solidifying Ameri- 
cans in support of the govern- 
ment in the World War, I- 
540 to 542. 

Caldwell, Lina, gift to Catholic 
University, I-447. 

Caldwell, Mary Gwendoline, her 
gift for founding Catholic 
University, 1-256, 447. 

Caldwell, William S., presents 
building and grounds to G. as 
home for Little Sisters of the 



Poor in Richmond, I- 149; his 
death, I- 150. 

Calixtus, Pope, founder of church 
of Santa Maria in Trastevere, 
G.'s titular church in Rome, 

Calvert, Cecilius, second Lord 
Baltimore, his influence for 
religious toleration in Mary- 
land, I-S. 

Calvert Family, large estates 
founded under its regime in 
early Colonial Maryland, I- 


Calvert Hall School, Baltimore, 
G. taught catechism at, I-71. 

Camp Meade, Md., G.'s address 
at, giving thanks for victory 
in World War, II-829. 

Canada, G.'s parents emigrate 
there from Ireland but soon 
leave for Baltimore, I-2; G. 
there on vacation trip, 1-175 5 
Archbishop Carroll's mission 
to, in American Revolution, 
I-429, 430; Plenary Council 
in, patterned after Third, of 
Baltimore, I-235 ; Hierarchy 
of, condemns Knights of 
Labor as a secret society 
working against religion, I- 
324 ; Cardinal Taschereau 
goes to Rome to uphold con- 
demnation, I-332 ; condemna- 
tion removed by Rome, I-354, 
355. 356; Taschereau and six 
Bishops attend celebration 
of centennial of American 
Hierarchy in Baltimore, I- 
432; he speaks for Canada 
at dedication of School of 
Sacred Sciences at Catholic 
University, I-450, 451 ; felici- 
tations of Catholics of, con- 
veyed to G. at his jubilee in 
191 1, II-728; Eucharistic Con- 
gress in Montreal, G. delivers 
sermon, II-748, 749. 

Canevin, Bishop, of Pittsburgh, 
tribute to G. at his death, II- 

Cannon, Joseph G., ex-Speaker H. 

of Representatives, 
as patriot at civic c 
of his jubilee in 19 

Canton, Md., (now pa: 
of Baltimore), seer 
first pastorate, I-4 
attentions of th( 
family to him there, 
congregation at St 
I-49 ; violence 
Nothings there, I 
crude living conditi 
49. 50; rectory buill 
I-50, 52; hardships 
health, I-S3, 54; cl 
Fort Marshall, I-49, 
in fight with drunk 
who attacked him z 
I-59; subdues insane 
attempts to take pos 
rectory, I-60; G. ti 
from Canton to 
Cathedral as seci 
Archbishop Spaldii 
congregation's plea 
retention fails, 1-66. 

Cape May, N. J., G. me 
dent Harrison th 
commends him on 
against Cahenslyism 


Capuchin Fathers, repr< 
conferring of red 1 
G., I-284. 

Cardinals (see Sacred C 

Caroline Islands, G. 
arbitration concernir 

Carroll, John, first 
Archbishop, organ 
Catholic Church in 
with American poU 
ditions after the R 
1-6; raises $225,000 
tion of Baltimore ' 
I- 1 58; G. accompli? 
tion of tasks set 
423; G. on his bi 
view, I-428, 429. 

Carroll, Charles, father 
Signer," ; former < 
site of first Catholi 
in Baltimore, I- 158. 



Carroll, Charles, signer of Dec. 
of Independence, prominent 
figure in Baltimore two years 
before G.'s birth, I-9; associ- 
ate of his cousin. Archbishop 
Carroll, on mission to Can- 
ada in Revolution, I-430; 
gives site for erection of St. 
Charles College in Howard 
County, Md., I-23. 
Carroll, Col. Charles, grandson of 
"The Signer," identified with 
G.'s student days, I-32, 34. 
Carroll, John Lee, G.'s comment 
on his election as governor of 
Maryland, 1-171 ; entertains 
G., I- 198. 
Carroll, the Rev. H. K., letter of 
G. to, on reunion of Christen- 
dom, I-420, 421. 
Carroll Hall, Baltimore, G. con- 
ducts a church fair there, 
I-50, 52. 
Carson, Hampton L., invites G. to 
offer prayer at celebration of 
centennial of U. S. Constitu- 
tion in Philadelphia, I-392. 
Carton, de Wiart, Monsignor, of 
Namur, delegate of Church 
in Belgium to celebration of 
G.'s golden jubilee as 
Bishop, 11-759. 
Cathedral, Baltimore. G. born 
within the parish of, I-i ; 
baptized there, I-5 ; part of 
congregation of leaves when 
prayer for the Union is said 
in Civil War time, I-51 ; G.'s 
recollections of the incident, 
I-51, 52; G. active in parish 
duties at, as secretary to 
Archbishop Spalding, I-71 ; 
sermons, I-72, 73; Second 
Plenary Council of Balti- 
more met in, I-74 to 79 ; archi- 
episcopal house, I-80, 8r; G. 
preaches at consecration of, 
I-157 ,to 159; founded by 
Archbishop Carroll, its con- 
struction and architecture, 
I-iSS; G.'s sermons there at- 
tract many non-Catholics, 

I-182; he directs celebration 
of Thanksgiving Day there, 
I-208, 209; funeral of Mrs. 
Walker, sister of James G. 
Blaine, in, I-216; G.'s habit 
of returning to, for devotions 
after his daily walk, I-226; 
Third Plenary Council held 
in, I-234 to 276; red biretta 
bestowed on G. there. I-284 
to 291 ; sermon in, concerning 
visit to Rome in 1886-87, 
I-389 to 391 ; presides at cele- 
bration of jubilee of Leo 
XHL in 1888, I-412 to 41s; 
celebration in, of centennial 
of American Hierarchy, I-432 
to 440; ceremonies attending 
elevation of Satolli to Cardi- 
nalate, I-470; services in 
honor of 400th anniversary of 
discovery of America. I-567; 
sermon by G. on Christian 
LInity, I-576, 577; on impres- 
sions of his trip to Europe in 
1895. I-583; celebration of 
silver jubilee of G.'s episco- 
pate. n-58s to 589; mass for 
victims of explosion on battle- 
ship Maine, n-6or ; sermon of 
G. urging calmness by Ameri- 
cans during investigation of 
explosion, n-602, 603; cele- 
bration of 25th anniversary 
of Leo Xni as Pope, n-633 ; 
G. reviews parade in his honor 
from portico of, II-656, 657; 
preaches on experiences at 
Papal Conclave of 1903, 
n-657 to 662; sermon (1906) 
condemning Socialism, n-676 
to 678; his declarations rein- 
forced by sermons of Arch- 
bishop Ryan and Glennon at 
celebration of centenary of 
Cathedral in same year, n-678 
to 680; letter of Pius X. to 
G. on centenary, n-68o to 
682; celebration in, of G.'s 
silver jubilee as Cardinal and 
golden jubilee as priest, 
marked by honors never be- 



fore accorded to an American 
churchman, 11-688 to 739; 
G.'s prophetic sermon in, as 
great Baltimore fire of 1904 
began, II-740, 741 ; sermon on 
belief in stability of U. S. 
II-766, 767; discontinues 
monthly sermons there, ow- 
ing to advanced age, II- 
1026; funeral in, II-1058 to 
Catholic Church, first planted in 
English-speaking America at 
St. Mary's, Md., I-5, 6, 7 ; dis- 
franchisement and double 
taxation of Catholics in later 
Colonial Maryland, 1-6; 75,000 
in Maryland when Gibbons 
was born, I-7; growth in 
English-speaking world in 
19th Century, 1-8; persecu- 
tions in Ireland in early life 
of Gibbons' parents, I-2, 14; 
Redemptorist mission in New 
Orleans at which G. was in- 
fluenced to enter the priest- 
hood, I-19, 20; Baltimore 
Cathedral first seat of an 
episcopal See in America, 
1-22 ; discipline at St. Charles' 
College, Md., for students 
preparing for priesthood, 
I-24, 25; at St. Mary's Semi- 
nary, Baltimore, I-37, 38, 41 ; 
protest against prayer for 
union in Baltimore Cathedral 
in Civil War time, I-51, 52; 
importance of See of Balti- 
more when Archbishop Spal- 
ding presided over it, 1-66, 
67; pressure by U. S. Govern- 
ment at Rome against Spal- 
ding's appointment, I-73; Sec- 
ond Plenary Council of Bal- 
timore, I-73 to 79; G. ap- 
pointed Vicar Apostolic of 
N. C, I-7S; Bishop of 
Adramyttum, I-82 ; Church 
conditions in 1868 in N. C 
and Del., I-83, 84; develop- 
ment of N. C. vicariate under 
G., I-92 to lis; help of 

Propaganda to vicariate, 
I-103; Ecumenical Council 
of Vatican called, I-116; 
English-speaking prelates in 
the council, I-117; Americans 
opposed to definition on in- 
fallibility, although adhering 
to it in belief and practice, 
I-118; definition adopted, text 
of, I-123, 124; G.'s impres- 
sions of prominent figures in 
the council, I-128, 132 to 135 ; 
assemblage of hierarchy at 
conferring of pallium on G., 
I- 183, 4; attitude of people 
of Maryland toward the 
Church in 1878, I-189, 190; 
patriotism of Catholics in 
Revolution, I-190; G.'s work 
in behalf of general celebra- 
tion of Thanksgiving Day, 
I-207 to 209; agreement of 
Leo XIII and G. on appeal to 
peoples rather than govern- 
ments, I-213, 214; Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, 
its convocation and decrees, 
I-234 to 276; Hierarchy 
gathers at conferring of red 
biretta on G. I-284; growth of 
Church in America during 
Gibbons' 43 years as Arch- 
bishop, I-277; his aims and 
policies at outset of his 
Cardinalate, I-296 to 305 ; 
plans basically ecclesiastical 
but reaching far outside the 
Church I-297 ; his creed of 
service to men, I-297 ; desires 
full cooperation between the 
Church and the American 
democracy I-297 to 300; con- 
siders union of Church and 
State in America impractical 
and undesirable, I-299; aims 
at uplifting labor in order to 
prepare it for its part in 
democracy, I-300 ; abhors 
radicalism, I-301 ; favors 
reasonable assertion of na- 
tionalism, but without ag- 
gression, I-301 ; resolves to 



execute all his plans simul- 
taneously, I-301, 302; great 
resources for his task, I-303 ; 
his study and workshop in 
archiepiscopal residence in 
which he formed and prose- 
cuted his plans, I-305 ; G.'s 
speech in Rome on relations 
of Church and State in U. S., 
I-308 to 310; daring nature of 
his declarations at a time 
when European Protestants 
as well as Catholics were gen- 
erally in favor of direct rela- 
tions between Church and 
State, I-311; his views the 
basis of Church policies in 
America, I-311, 312; Arch- 
bishops at meeting in Balti- 
more decide not to condemn 
Knights of Labor in U. S., 
I-327 ; discussions regarding 
proposed condemnation of 
Henry George's book, Pro- 
gress and Poz'erty, condemna- 
tion prevented, I-361 to 371 ; 
rebuke to McGlynn and 
Burtsell by Archbishop Cor- 
rigan, I-362, 372; their facul- 
ties restored after some 
years, I-376; G.'s impressions 
of religious opportunities in 
Western States of U. S., 
I-396, 397, 403, 404. 405. 406; 
President Cleveland's jubilee 
gift to Leo XIII in 1887, 
I-408 to 411; celebration of 
jubilee in Baltimore Cathe- 
dral, I-412 to 415 ; celebration 
of centennial of American 
Hierarchy in same, I-432 to 
440; growth of Church, 1789 
to 1889, I-430; American 
Hierarchy consulted by Leo 
XIII on establishment of 
diplomatic relations between 
Vatican and U. S., I-458; all 
the Archbishops, except Ire- 
land, oppose step, I-459; 
growth of Church in U. S., 
causes revival of question, 
Satolli sent as temporary 

Apostolic Delegate to the 
Church in America, I-466; 
success of his mission, I-468; 
appointed permanent Apos- 
tolic Delegate without diplo- 
matic status, I-468, 469 ; 
Martinelli succeeds him, 
I-471 ; discussions concerning 
school question, I-472 to 480; 
G.'s pastoral letter on educa- 
tion, I-474 to 477 ; Archbishop 
Ireland's school experiments 
at Faribault and Stillwater, 
Minn., I-480 to 487; Ireland 
criticized for his views, G. 
defends him, I-482 to 484; 
Archbishops and Propaganda 
approve his plan, I-487; G. 
presides at meeting of Arch- 
bishops at which Satolli out- 
lines 14 propositions on school 
question, I-488 to 490; letter 
of Leo XIII to G. on ques- 
tion, I-490, 491 ; difficulties of 
maintaining Catholic Schools 
for Indians, I-492 to 496; rise 
of the Cahensly question, I- 
497 to 504; Leo XIII refuses 
to grant Cahensly petition for 
appointment of nationalist 
Bishops, 1-523 ; President 
Harrison commends G. for 
stand in opposition to Ca- 
henslyism, I-S24, 525 ; G.'s 
address in Milwaukee, (1891), 
declaring that "God and our 
Country" must be the watch- 
word of all in America, re- 
gardless of origin, I-527 to 
530; letter of Cardinal Ledo- 
chowski to G. urging that an 
end be put to Cahensly agita- 
tion, I-S30 to 532 ; American 
Archbishops repudiate Ca- 
hensly charge regarding de- 
fection of immigrants from 
the faith, I-S32; American 
prelates commend Father 
Hecker, I-544 to 551 5 
Hecker's views misinterpreted 
in Europe, I-551, 552; Leo 
XIII's letter on Americanism, 



I-SS2 to 557 ; G. replies thank- 
ing him for dispelling mis- 
understanding, I-557> 558; 
letter of Leo XIII on 400th 
anniversary of discovery of 
America, I-s6S, 566; Ameri- 
can Archbishops decide for 
participation in Parliament of 
Religions at Chicago, I-569, 
570; encyclical of Leo XIII 
to American Bishops express- 
ing his special affection for 
U. S., 1-573, to 575; G. con- 
fers with Leo in Rome in 
189s, 1-577 to 580; gathering 
of Hierarchy at celebration of 
silver jubilee of G.'s episco- 
pate, II-585, 586; G.'s support 
of Papal offer of mediation 
between Spain and U. S. in 
1898, II-603; his work in ob- 
taining adjustment of Friar 
land question, II-612 to 617; 
intervenes for protection of 
priests in Philippines, Cuba 
and Porto Rico, II-621 to 623; 
golden jubilee of episcopate 
of Leo XIII, (1893), 11-629; 
President Cleveland transmits 
gift through G. to Pope, II- 
629 to 631 ; Leo's encyclical 
to American Bishops on his 
25th anniversary as Pope, 
II-631 to 633; death of Leo, 
II-635 ; G. first American to 
take part in election of Pope, 
II-636; Cardinal Sarto de- 
clines election, II-644 ; per- 
suaded by Satolli at G.'s urg- 
ing to accept and is elected, 
II-645 to 656 ; takes name of 
Pius X, II-646, 647; confers 
with G. on Church in Amer- 
ica, II-649 to 651 ; G. delivers 
sermon at Eucharistic Con- 
gress in London, II-663 to 
667 ; Centenary of Baltimore 
Cathedral celebrated (1906), 
II-678 to 683; G.'s silver 
jubilee as Cardinal and golden 
jubilee as priest in 191 1, 
marked by honors never be- 

fore accorded to an American 
churchman, 11-688 to 739; 
celebration of centenary of 
N. Y. archdiocese, II-747; 
Eucharistic Congress in Mon- 
treal, G. delivers sermon, 
II-748 ; letter of Benedict XV 
on golden jubilee of G.'s 
episcopate, II-758; G. insti- 
tutes Pan-American Mass on 
Thanksgiving Day in Wash- 
ington, II-789, 790; article in 
North American Review on 
Catholic citizenship, II-791 to 
793 ; G. and Cardinal O'Con- 
nell arrive in Rome too late 
to vote in Conclave which 
elected Benedict XV, II-807; 
Archbishops, on G.'s proposal, 
pledge full support to govern- 
ment on entrance of America 
into World War, II-813, ,814; 
they organize as National 
Catholic War Council. II-818, 
819; National Catholic Wel- 
fare Council formed later for 
work of peace, II-835 ; pas- 
toral letter of Hierarchy on 
war and peace problems, 
11-835 to II-837 ; Benedict XV 
conveys sympathy to G. in 
last illness, II-1032; gather- 
ing of Hierarchy at funeral, 
tributes to Cardinal Gibbons, 
II-1058 to 1068. 
Catholic University of America, 
Second Plenary Council of 
Baltimore expressed desire 
for establishment of, I-78, 79; 
Bishop Spalding's work in 
behalf of project, I-255 ; deci- 
sion of Third Plenary Coun- 
cil of Baltimore to found 
University, I-254 to 257 ; G. 
strongly supports project, in- 
fluential in obtaining its adop- 
tion, I-256; appointed first 
president of its board of 
Trustees, retaining that posi- 
tion throughout his life, 
I-256; Miss M. G. Caldwell's 
gift of $300,000 for, I-256; 



in Washington obtained, 
•; G.'s desire for develop- 
of its facilities for 
ing American priests, 
' ; corner stone of School 

Sacred Sciences laid 
3) I-448; dedication of 
dI, I-448 to 451 ; Ca- 
lyites attack Bishop 
le, I-532, 533; Keane re- 
ad as rector of Uni- 
ty, 1-533; the Rev. T. J. 
ity succeeds him, I-534, 

Keane gives assurance 

return from Rome that 

XIII approves American 

icter of University, I- 

G. confers with Leo 

on, I-579, 580; Pope ad- 
ses brief to him approv- 
plans for philosophical 
rtment, I-580; G. enlists 
interest of Pius X in, 
,0; Pius X issues brief in 
If of, 11-662; G. lays 
erstone of Gibbons Hall, 
•4 to 727; G. enables uni- 
ty to recover from losses 
/aggaman failure, 11-744. 

sermon at 2Sth anni- 
iry of university, II-74S» 

G.'s confidence in Bishop 
lan as rector, II-746; 
iration of golden jubilee 
is episcopate there, II-756, 

Archbishops at meeting 
;, April 18, 1917, pledge 
support to government in 
II-813, 814; National 
olic War Council formed 
:, II-817, 

Club, Baltimore, recep- 

to G. in 1895, I-582; 
irs to him at celebration 
Iver jubilee of his episco- 


Young Men's Union, its 
ort to government in 
Id War, II-817. 

Societies, American Fed- 
on of, G.'s address to in 
/aukee (1913), 11-755; 

offers prayer at convention 
of, in Baltimore (1914). 

Catholic Women's War Relief 
Organization, of Baltimore, 
G.'s address to, II-822. 

Cavite, Philippines, priests ar- 
rested by insurgents there, 

Centennial of American Hier- 
archy, G. conceives large 
project for celebration of 
centennial, I-425 ; consults 
Church leaders on project, 
I-427 ; general public interest 
in, I-428; condition of the 
Church when Hierarchy was 
founded, I-429, 430; Leo XIII 
encourages celebration, I-430 
to 432 ; sends Satolli to repre- 
sent him, I-432; large gather- 
ing of Hierarchy at main ec- 
clesiastical observance in 
Baltimore Cathedral (Nov. 
1889), I-433; sermons of 
Archbishops Ryan and Ire- 
land, I-433 to 439; Congress 
of Laymen meets in Balti- 
more, I-441 to 446; dedication 
of School of Sacred Sciences 
at Catholic University, I-446 
to 452; reception of visitors 
by Mayor Latrobe in Balti- 
more City Hall, I-452 to 
454; sequel in meeting in be- 
half of high license for liquor 
saloons in Maryland, I-454 to 

Cerretti, Archbishop, represents 
Pope at celebration of G.'s 
golden jubilee as Bishop, 

Cervera, Spanish Admiral, courte- 
sies of G. to, when he was a 
prisoner of war in Annapolis, 

Chapelle, Archbishop, Papal dele- 
gate to Philippines, II-616. 

Chaplains, Catholic, in U. S. 
Army and ' Navy ; McKinley 
increases number of in 
Spanish-American War at re- 



quest of G., II-606; provi- 
sion for in World War, II- 
Charities of Cardinal Gibbons, II- 

913 to 915- . , , , 

Chase, Samuel, associate of Arch- 
bishop Carroll in mission in 
Canada, I-429, 430. 

Christian Brothers, address to G. 
on his elevation to Cardi- 
nalate, I-291, 292. 

Christian Unity, letter of G. on, 
I-420, 421 ; to the Rev. Geo. 
W. King on, I-576; sermon 
of G. on, in Baltimore Cathe- 
dral, I-576, 577. 

Christmas, decree of Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore 
on religious observance of, 

Church ; see Catholic Church ; for 
individual churches see their 
respective titles. 

Church and State, lack of political 
bonds between, assures free- 
dom of discussion by Ameri- 
can Bishops in Vatican Coun- 
cil, I-130, 131 ; Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore on rela- 
tions of, in America, 1-251 to 
253 ; G.'s views on relations 
of as held at outset of his 
Cardinalate, I-299; address on, 
at his installation in his titular 
church of Santa Maria in 
Trastevere in Rome, I-308 to 
310; his remarks based on 
Leo XIII's encyclical on the 
constitution of Christian 
States, I-309; he declares that 
the Church adapts herself to 
all forms of government and 
thrives in the atmosphere of 
liberty, I-309; the U. S. a 
country in which there is 
liberty without license and 
authority without despotism, 
I-309; strength of U. S. 
Government, T310; thanks 
Leo XIII "in the name of our 
separated brethren in Amer- 
ica as well as of American 

Catholics for elevation of 
another citizen of U. S. to 
Cardinalate, I-3io;his address 
causes comment in Rome, 
I-311; G.'s views the basis of 
Church policies in America, 
I-312; subsequent expressions 
by him of the view that the 
Church prospers most in 
America when separated from 
the State, I-314 to 319; 
American Hierarchy consult- 
ed by Leo XIII on establish- 
ment of diplomatic relations 
between Vatican and U. S., 
I-457; all the Archbishops, 
except Ireland, oppose the 
step, I-459; G.'s views on, 
I-459 to 462; growth of 
Church in U. S., causes re- 
vival of question of Apostolic 
Delegate, I-463 ; Leo appoints 
Satolli temporary Apostolic 
Delegate to the Church in 
America, I-466; appoints him 
permanent Delegate without 
diplomatic status, I-468, 469; 
G.'s objections removed by 
manner of establishing dele- 
gation and its results, I-469; 
he opposes as inopportune a 
proposal for state appropria- 
tions in Maryland for Catho- 
lic schools, I-478 to 479; 
political authorities in U. S. 
disturbed by Cahensly agita- 
tion, I-510, 511; President 
Harrison commends G. for 
his stand on Cahenslyism, 
I-523 to 525; Leo XIII co- 
operates in adjustment of 
Church relations in Philip- 
pines, Cuba and Porto Rico to 
American system, II-615 to 
618; confers with G. on 
adjustment, II-616 to 618; ad- 
dresses lauding G. as patriot 
delivered at civic celebra- 
tion of his jubilee in 191 1 by 
Governor Crothers of Mary- 
land, II-692, 693; President 
Taft, II-693, 694; Ex-Presi- 




dent Roosevelt, II-694 to 697 ; 
Elihu Root, II-698; Speaker 
Clark, of H. of Representa- 
tives, II-698; Ex-Speaker 
Cannon, II-699; James Bryce, 
British Ambassador to U. S., 
II-699, 700 ; Mayor Preston of 
Baltimore, II-700, 701 ; reply 
of G. expressing faith in U. S. 
Constitution and exhorting 
obedience to law, II-703 to 
Circumcision of our Lord, Feast 
of, decree of Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore on, I- 

Citizenship, of Cardinal Gibbons, 
conceptions of his own civic 
duty, II-761 ; careful to vote 
in every election, II-762 ; iden- 
tified with no political party, 
II-763 ; prayer at Democratic 
convention which nominated 
Wilson for President, II-765, 
766; prayer at Republican 
convention which nominated 
Harding, II-768; opposes 
Philippine independence on 
ground of lack of preparation 
by the people, II-768 to 773; 
deplores Mexican revolutions, 
helps refugee priests and 
nuns, 11-773 to 775 ; address 
to Third National Peace Con- 
gress, II-775 ; influential in 
overthrow of Louisiana lot- 
tery, I-776 to 778; opposes 
total prohibition of sale of 
liquor as impracticable, favors 
local option, II-779 to 782 ; 
opposes Woman Suffrage 
Amendment to Federal Con- 
stitution, II-782; exalts 
Christian home and mother- 
hood, II-782 to 784; warns of 
divorce evil, II-784 to 787 ; 
condemns "race suicide," II- 
787, 788; institutes Pan- 
American Mass on Thanks- 
giving Day in Washington, 
II-789, 790; article in North 
American Review on Catholic 

citizenship, II-791 to 793 ; con- 
demns lynching, II-794, 795 ; 
against educational require- 
ments for immigrants, II-796, 
797 ; deplores persecution of 
Jews in Russia under Czars, 
II-797 ; views on Sunday ob- 
servance, II-797, 798; critic of 
faults in American life, II- 
799; denounces ballot frauds, 
II-800, 801 ; opposes national 
ownership of public utilities, 
II-802; commended by Roose- 
velt for frankness of public 
utterances, II-802. 

Clark, Champ, lauds G. as patriot 
at civic celebration of his 
jubilee in 191 1, II-698. 

Cleveland, Grover, President of 
U. S., G.'s relations with, 
I-408 to 418; letter to G. in 
1887 proposing gift to Leo 
XIII in honor of jubilee, I- 
408, 409; G. suggests copy 
of U. S. Constitution as ap- 
propriate gift, I-409; Cleve- 
land approves and sends gift 
through G., I-410 to 412 ; letter 
from G., on reception of gift 
in Rome, I-411; acknowledge- 
ment by Leo expresses ad- 
miration for Constitution, I- 
412; visits from G. to, at 
White House, I-415 to 417; 
consults G. on tariff message 
and other subjects, I-416, 417; 
his admiration of G., I-417, 
418; attacked on ground of 
close relations with G., I-536, 
537; his reply rebuking 
critics, I-S37 ; felicitates G. on 
silver jubilee of his episco- 
pate, II-590; letter to G. on 
gift to Leo XIII in honor of 
golden jubilee of Pope's 
episcopate, II-629, 630; G.'s 
reply, II-630, 631 ; letter of G. 
to, commending Venezuela 
arbitration, II-596. 

Clipper ships, of Baltimore, G.'s 
father attended to finances of 
some of them, I-3. 



Colby, Bainbridge, U. S. Secretary 
of State, message of inquiry 
for G. in last illness, II-1034. 

Columbian Catholic Congress; see 
Laymen, Congress of. 

Columbian Exposition, at Chicago 
in 1893; Secretary of State 
Foster requests through G., 
loan of Vatican relics for, 
I-464, 465; Vatican grants re- 
quest, I-46S, 466; G. offers 
prayer at dedication of Fair 
and at celebration of Mary- 
land Day there, I-564; letter 
of Leo XIII on Columbus, 
I-565, 566; pastoral letter of 
G. on, I-s66; G. arranges 
celebration in Baltimore, 
1-566, 567; extracts _ from 
his prayer at dedication 
of Fair, I-567, 568; favors 
partial opening of Fair on 
Sunday afternoons and eve- 
nings, I-s68; urges Catholic 
participation in Parliament of 
Religions, I-569, 570; ad- 
dresses Parliament, I-570 to 
572; reports to Cardinal 
Rampolla on Parliament, I- 
573 ; addresses Catholic Con- 
gress at Chicago, I-573. 

Columbus, Christopher, relics of, 
sent by Vatican for Colum- 
bian exposition at Chicago, 
I-564; returned to Vatican, 
1-573 ; letter of Leo XIII on, 
I-565, 566; pastoral letter of 
G. on, marking 400th anni- 
versary of discovery of 
America, I-56S ; see also Co- 
lumbian exposition. 

Columbus, Knights of, {see 
Knights of Columbus). 

Communists, G. advocates firm 
policy towards, after World 
War, 11-833, 834. 

Company Shops, N. C, G. makes 
missionary visit to, on a 
freight engine, I-iio. 

Conaty, the Rev. T. J., appointed 
rector of Catholic University, 
1-534, 535- 

Conclaves, Papal, G. summoned 
to Rome for conclave of 1903, 
II-634; first American Car- 
dinal to take part in election 
of a Pope, II-636; safeguards 
surrounding election, II-637 
to 642 ; Rampolla leads in 
vote at outset but his election 
is vetoed by Austria, II-643, 
644; vote turns to Cardinal 
Sarto who refuses election, 
II-644; SatoUi at urging of 
G. persuades Sarto to accept, 
and he is elected, taking the 
name of Pius X, II-64S, 646; 
election of Benedict XV in 
1914, II-807. 

Concord, N. C, G. dedicated 
church at, I- 104. 

Conestoga wagons, passed with 
Pennsylvania traffic before 
G.'s early home in Baltimore, 

Confraternities, (labor), G. de- 
clares they are not a substi- 
tute for the general labor 
movement, I-330, 343- 

Congregation of the Index, see 
Index, Congregation of. 

Congregation of, the Holy Office, 
see Holy Office, Congregation 

Congregation of Missionary 
Priests of St. Paul, I-19. 

Congregation of the Propaganda; 
see Propaganda, Congrega- 
tion of. 

Congress ; G. compares freedom 
of discussion in with that in 
Vatican Council, I-127; com- 
ments on its daily opening 
with prayer as indication of 
religious character of Amer- 
ican people, I-315; Congress 
curtails appropriations for 
Catholic schools for Indians, 
I-494; G.'s petition to, in be- 
half of such schools, I-494» 
495 ; Congress refuses to sus- 
pend appropriations from 
tribal funds for Indian 
schools, I-496; G. opposes bill 



)] Philippine Independence 
1 113, II-768 to 773 ; declara- 
b of state of war with Ger- 
pyr, 1 1-8 12. 

"' of Laymen, see Laymen, 
_ress of. 

Bishop, of Ardagh; dele- 
ft' Holy See to Canada, 
nt at conferring of pal- 
on G., I-184. 

Bishop, of Ogdensburg, 
v., tribute to G. at his 
li, 11-1055. 

lit s, Papal, on June 7, 
•, in which G. was elevated 
ardinalate, I-281, 282 ; on 
1 II 17, 1887, at which he 
iv; d the red hat, I-306, 

li n, of the United 
• s, its guarantee of re- 
u^ liberty to Catholics, 

(t. offers prayer at cele- 

iin of centennial of, in 

gadelphia, I-391 to 394; 

ests bound copy of, as 
lee gift from President 
■eland to Leo XIIL I-499; 
eland accepts suggestion 

sends gift, I-409 to 411; 
)ses amendments to Con- 
ition for popular election 
enators and for initiative, 
rendum and recall of 
ic officials, II-719 to 721 ; 
:le of G. on, in 1921, II- 
i to 1039. 

Hal, schoolmate of G. in 

nd ; G.'s help to him 

n he was ill from fever 

Fort Marshall, near 

imore, I-57, 58. 

lo, explorer, his penetra- 

of the West, I-402. 
ondence, of Cardinal Gib- 
s, II-909 to 913. 
n, Archbishop, of New 
k; consults G. on convoca- 

of Third Plenary Council 
Baltimore, I-238 ; present 
conferring pallium on G., 
J4; rebukes McGlynn and 

Burtsell for their support of 
Henry George, I-362; urges 
condemnation of George's 
book, Progress and Poverty, 
by the Congregation of the 
Index, I-362 ; general views on 
Church questions, I-363, 364; 
condemnation of book op- 
posed by G. on the ground 
that it would stifle free dis- 
cussion of the labor question, 
I-362 to 371 ; condemnation 
prevented, I-371 ; Corrigan 
deprives McGlynn and Burt- 
sell of pastorates, I-372 ; let- 
ter to, from G., endeavoring to 
remove the thought of fric- 
tion, I-375, 376; McGlynn and 
Burtsell restored to pastor- 
ates, I-372 ; G. effects recon- 
ciliation between Satolli and 
Corrigan, I-376, 2>77 \ G.'s let- 
ter to, urging forbearance in 
discussions of school ques- 
tion, I-492; delivers sermon 
at celebration of silver jubilee 
of G.'s episcopate, II-586. 

Corrigan, Bishop, (Auxiliary to 
Cardinal Gibbons), reports 
on diocesan work to G. in last 
illness, II-1032; pronounces 
last absolution for G., II- 1065. 

Coskery, The Very Rev. Henry 
G., besought to use influence 
to have G. retained as pastor 
of St. Bridget's Church, 
I-64, 65 ; G. appointed as his 
administrator, I-145. 

Council, Ecumenical, of the Vati- 
can, see Vatican Council. 

Cracow, Archbishop of, commu- 
nicates veto of Austria 
against election of Rampolla 
as Pope, II-644. 

Croagh Patrick, peak in Ireland, 
G.'s parents born near, I-2. 

Croke, Archbishop, sends letter 
in behalf of Irish prelates on 
celebration of centennial of 
American Hierarchy, I-432. 

Crothers, Austin L., Governor of 
Maryland, lauds G. as patriot 



at civic celebration of his 
jubilee in 191 1, II-692, 693. 

Crypt, of Baltimore Cathedral, 
bodies of Archbishops buried 
there, I-158. 

Cuba, G.'s hopes for armistice in, 
in Spring of 1898, II-604; be- 
lieved peace could be secured 
on basis of independence of, 
II-605; influential in adjust- 
ment of Church relations in, 
II-617; intervenes to prevent 
persecution of Church in, II- 
622, 623. 

Cummings, H. S., Baltimore City 
Councilman, thanks G. for 
benevolent interest in negroes, 


Curia, Roman, interested in ex- 
pressions of American ap- 
proval of G.'s elevation to 
Cardinalate, I-282; its deci- 
sions readily accepted by 
American Catholics, I-424. 

Curley, Archbishop, successor of 
Cardinal Gibbons in See of 
Baltimore, tribute to G. at his 
death, II-1055. 

Curtis, Bishop, of Wilmington, 
formerly secretary to G., I- 
177; letter in behalf of G. to 
Mrs. J. A. Garfield expressing 
sympathy with her after at- 
tack of assassin on her hus- 
band, I-204; accompanies G. 
on episcopal visitation to 
southern Maryland, I-197, 

Danville, Va., G. visits there as 
Bishop, preaches in Odd Fel- 
lows Hall, I-151. 

Darboy, Archbishop, of Paris, 
G.'s impressions of at Vatican 
Council, I-134, 135. 

Davis, Henry G., letter of G. to, 
on declining to espouse pub- 
licly any political party, II- 

Decrees, of Second Plenary Coun- 
cil of Baltimore, I-77 to 79; 

of Third Plenary Council, I- 
250 to 272. 

Delegate Apostolic, see Apostolic 

Detroit, U. S. S., bears Colum- 
bian relics returned to Vatican 
after World's Fair at Chi- 
cago, 1-573- . 

Devotions, religious, of Cardinal 
Gibbons, II-92S, 926. 

Dewey, Admiral, G. pronounces 
benediction at presentation of 
sword to, by Congress, II-791. 

Discussions, religious, G. on, I- 
424; Newman on, I-424, 425. 

Disfranchisement, of Catholics in 
later colonial Maryland, 1-6. 

Divorce, warnings of G. against, 
11-785 to 787. 

Dolan, the Rev. James, pastor of 
St. Patrick's Church, Balti- 
more, when G. was assistant 
there, I-44, 45, 46. 

Dominicans, represented at con- 
ferring of red biretta on G., 

Donahue, Bishop, of Wheeling, 
tribute to G. at celebration of 
his jubilee in 191 1, II-737. 

Donnelly, John J., his recollections 
of G.'s pastorate at St. 
Bridget's Church, Baltimore, 
n., I-S4. 

Dorsey, Ridgely, fellow student 
of G. at St. Charles College, 
Maryland, their friendship, 
I-26, 31 ; Dorsey's estimate of 
G.'s early characteristics, I- 
31, 32; letter of G. to in 1857, 
1-35. 36. 

Dowling, Archbishop, of St. Paul, 
tribute to G. at his death, 

Dubreul, The Very Rev. Dr., cor- 
respondence with G. on the 
latter's appointment as co- 
adjutor Archbishop, I-175. 

Eccleston, Archbishop, letter to 
the Congregation of the Prop- 
aganda on increase of the 



number of Catholics in Mary- 
land, n. 1-7 ; finishes second 
tower of Baltimore Cathedral, 

Ecuador, G. transmits to Vatican 
letter of Methodists on their 
status in, I-580. 

Ecumenical Council of the Vati- 
can, see Vatican Council. 

Edenton, N. C, visited by G. as 
Vicar Apostolic, I-ioo. 

Edison, Thomas A., discussion 
with G. on immortality, II- 
750 to 753- 

Education, G.'s views of what a 
public school ought to be, I- 
472, 473 ; his work for educa- 
tion in Baltimore and N. C 
in early days, I-474; pastoral 
letter on, (1883), I-474 to 
477 ; commends reading of 
Bible in public schools, I-478; 
opposes as inopportune a pro- 
posed bill for a State appro- 
priation for Catholic schools 
in Maryland, I-479; Arch- 
bishop Ireland's experiments 
at Faribault and Stillwater 
(Minn.), I-480 to 487; Ire- 
land's address at public 
schools convention in St. 
Paul (1890), I-481, 482; criti- 
cized for his views, G. de- 
fends him, I-482 to 484; G. 
presides at meeting of Arch- 
bishops at which Ireland ex- 
plains his plan, I-484 to 487 ; 
Archbishops approve plan, I- 
487 ; Propaganda decides 
Faribault plan can be toler- 
ated, I-487; G. presides at 
meeting of Archbishops at 
which Satolli outlines 14 
propositions on school ques- 
tion, I-488 to 490; letter of 
Leo XIII to G. on school 
question, I-490, 491 ; G., in 
letter to Corrigan, deplores 
friction on the subject, I-492; 
G. helps Catholic schools for 
Indians, I-492 to 496; obtains 
appropriation for Indian con- 

tract schools out of tribal 
funds, I-495. 

Elder, Archbishop, of Cincinnati, 
letter of G. to on the cases of 
McGlynn and Burtsell, I-372 
to 374; on opposition to con- 
demnations by the Church ex- 
cept as a last resort, I-377, 
378; opposing diplomatic rela- 
tions between Vatican and U. 
S., I-459, 460; in opposition 
to Cahenslyism, I-522. 

Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgians, 
meets G. at Territet, Switzer- 
land, in 1914, II-757 ; receives 
honorary degree at Trinity 
College, Washington, while on 
visit to U. S. after World 
War, 11-835. 

Elkins, Stephen B., U. S. Senator, 
entertains G. at Lucerne, II- 

Ellicott City, Md., G.'s walking 
excursions there as a student, 

Elliott, the Rev. Walter, biogra- 
pher of Father Hecker, I-544; 
Archbishop Ireland's intro- 
duction to the biography, I- 
547 to 549; G.'s commenda- 
tion of Hecker, I-549 to 551 ; 
Elliott's book misinterpreted 
in Europe, I-551, 552; letter 
of Leo XIII on Americanism 
reproving European interpre- 
tations of Hecker, I-552 to 
557; G.'s reply thanking Pope 
for dispelling misunderstand- 
ing, 1-557, 558. 

Embert, John R. H., Confederate 
soldier condemned as a spy 
at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, 
whose life Father Gibbons, 
his chaplain, helped to save, 
I-55 ; his sentence commuted 
by Lincoln, I-S7; married by 
G., 1-57. 

Emmitsburg, Md., G.'s address 
there on American aims in 
World War, II-815, 816; at- 
tends church ceremony there 
while ill in 1920, II- 1030. 



Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, 
on "Catholicity in the United 
States," I-275, 276; Immortale 
Dei, I-289; the constitution of 
Christian States, I-309; Au 
Milieu des Sollicitudcs, I-312; 
on 400th anniversary of dis- 
covery of America, I-565, 
566 ; to Americana Bishops ex- 
pressing special affection for 
U. S., 1-573 to 575; on the 
condition of labor, I-356 to 
359; on Americanism, I-552 
to 557; condemning Social- 
ism, II-671 to 672; to Amer- 
ican Bishops on his 25th an- 
niversary as Pope, II-631 to 

Eucharistic Congresses, m Wash- 
ington (1895), G. asks for 
Papal brief in behalf of, Leo 
issues brief, I-s8o; congress 
is held, I-583; in London 
(1908), G. delivers sermon at, 
II-663 to 667; in Montreal 
(1910), 1-748,749. 

Fairfax, Va., visited by G. as 
Bishop, I-147. 

Falconio, Cardinal, succeeds Mar- 
tinelli as Papal Delegate, II- 
678; joins in celebration of 
centenary of N. Y. arch- 
diocese, II-747. 

Faribault Plan ; Archbishop Ire- 
land's school experiments at 
Faribault and Stillwater, 
Minn., I-480 to 487; his 
address at a public school 
convention in St. Paul (1889), 
I-481, 482; criticized for his 
views, G. defends him, I-482 
to 484; G. presides at meeting 
of Archbishops at which Ire- 
land explains his plan, I-484 
to 487; Archbishops approve 
plan, I-487 ; Propaganda de- 
cides Faribault plan can be 
tolerated, I-487. 

Farley, Cardinal, felicitates G. on 
the latter's elevation to Sacred 
College, I-280; votes in 

Papal Conclave of 
807 ; influential in cc 
ing patriotic work 
lies in World War, 
G.'s address at elevati 
Cardinal, 11-933, 934- 

Fayetteville, N. C, G.'s 
as Vicar Apostolic, i- 

Federation of Labor, A 
its growth in G.'s 

Feehan, Archbishop, of 
present at conferring 
biretta on G., I-284; 
G. to, opposing cond( 
of Henry George' 
Progress and Povert 
G. guest of, on Westi 
I-397; joins in Parlia 
Religions at Chicago, 

Fell's Point, Baltimore, i 
G.'s first work in th( 
hood, I-43. 

Fifth Regiment Armory 
more, civic celebratioi 
jubilee in 191 1 there, 

Fire, of 1904, in Baltimo 
prophetic sermon as 
beginning, II-740, 7 
residence endangered, 

Fisher, Frances, see ( 

Fitzgerald, Bishop, of Lit! 
Ark., voted non placet 
inition of Papal infall 
Vatican Council, I- 13 
ent at conferring of 
on G., I-184. 

Florence, Council of, dei 
of, on Papal infallil 
122, 123. 

Foley, John S., Bishop of 
his recollections of ( 
Charles College, I-33. 

Foley, Thomas, Bishop 
cago; delivers sermoi 
secration of G. as B 
83, 84; present at cc 
of pallium on G., I-il 

Fogarty, Bishop, of Killa 
land, tribute to G. 
death, II-ioSS- 



Ford, Henry, fails to obtain G.'s 
support for peace mission to 
Europe in World War, II- 

Fort Vancouver, welcome to G. 
there (1887), I-400, 401. 

Foster, John W., Secretary of 
State of U. S. confers with 
G. on request for loan of 
Columbia relics for World's 
Fair at Chicago, I-464; letter 
to Cardinal Rampolla on, I- 
464, 465 ; Rampolla grants re- 
quest, I-465, 466. 

Fountain Inn, Baltimore, in G.'s 
boyhood, 1-8, 9. 

France, passage of law of associa- 
tions, II-684; G. forwards 
protest from American Bish- 
ops, II-684 to 686; condemns 
excesses, 11-686, 687. 

Franciscans, represented at con- 
ferring of red biretta on G., 

Franklin, Benjamin, associate of 
Archbishop Carroll on mis- 
sion in Canada, I-429, 430 ; his 
admonition to Constitutional 
Convention of 1787 to seek 
"light from the Father of 
Light" cited by G., I-419. 

Frauds, in voting, denounced by 
G., II-801. 

Friar Lands, in the Philippines ; 
their acquirement by gradual 
processes preceding Spanish- 
American War, II-612; civil 
functions of Friars in Philip- 
pines, II-613 ; negotiations by 
U. S. after war for purchase 
of their lands, II-614; G. after 
conference with Roosevelt 
obtains settlement of terms 
after all other efforts failed, 
II-614 to 615. 
Frederick Turnpike, Maryland, 
G.'s walking excursions on, 

Friendships, of Cardinal Gibbons, 
with Monsignor McManus, 
II-940, 941 ; with Michael 
Jenkins, II-941 to 943; with 

Joseph Friedenwald, II-943, 

Gadd, Monsignor, representative 
of English Hierarchy at cele- 
bration of centennial of 
American Hierarchy, I-432. 

Gans, Edgar H., delivers address 
of welcome to G. on return 
to Baltimore from Rome in 
1895, 1-582. 

Gariield, Henry A., letter to from 
G. urging that miners spur 
coal production in World 
War, 11-822, 823. 

Garfield, James A., President of 
U. S., G. issues circular letter 
to clergy, expressing horror 
at attack on, I-202, 203; sym- 
pathy conveyed in letter of 
Mrs. Garfield, I-204; sermon 
by G. on prayers for, I-205 
to 207. 

Gasparri, Cardinal, celebrates 
Mass in honor of G.'s golden 
jubilee as Bishop, II-760; con- 
veys Pope's sympathy for 
him in last illness, II-1032. 

Gaston, Judge, his work for abol- 
ishing discrimination against 
Catholics in N. C, I-109. 

Gavan, the Rev. P. C, conclavist 
with G. at election of Pius X, 
II -634 to 636. 

Gay Street, Baltimore, G. born on, 
I-i ; life of his parents there, 
1-2, 3, 4, 8, 10. 

General Master Workman, title of 
T. V. Powderly as head of 
Knights of Labor, I-321. 

George, Henry, influence of his 
book. Progress and Poverty, 
on labor movement soon after 
its publication, I-361 ; labor 
candidate for Mayor of New 
York, I-361 ; supported by the 
Rev. Drs. McGlynn and 
Burtsell, I-362 ; Archbishop 
Corrigan rebukes them and 
urges Rome to condemn 
George's book, I-362; G. op- 
poses condemnation on the 



ground that it would stifle 
free discussion of the labor 
question, I-362, 363; formal 
appeal to Rome against con- 
demnation, I-364 to 366; G. 
asks for Manning's support 
against condemnation, I-366; 
George explains views to 
Manning, I-367, 270, 371 J G.'s 
letter to Archbishop Elder on 
the subject, I-372 to 374; con- 
demnation of book at Rome 
prevented, I-371. _ 

Georgetown University, founded 
by Archbishop Carroll, 1-447. 
448; celebration of centennial 
of, 1-448. 

Germany, war with {See Wars). 

Gibbon, General John, entertains 
G. at Fort Vancouver, Wash., 
I-400, 401. 

Gibbons, Mrs. Bridget, mother of 
the Cardinal, born in Ireland ; 
Bridget Walsh married 
Thomas Gibbons, emigrated 
with him to Canada and thence 
to Baltimore, I-2 ; influence of 
her piety on G., in boyhood, 
I-14; her early widowhood, I- 
15; death of her daughter 
Catherine, I-16; reiuins to 
America with the family, set- 
tling in New Orleans, I- 16, 17; 
consents to G. entering the 
priesthood, I-20; his visits to 
her, I-52, 60; her death in 
New Orleans, G.'s affection 
for her, I-215, 216. 

Gibbons, Cardinal, Early life and 
studies; born in Baltimore 
July 23, 1834, I-i ; his parents, 
Thomas and Bridget Gibbons, 
I-i, 2, 5, 10, II, 14, 16, 20; 
baptized at Cathedral, I-i, 5; 
house in which he was born, 
I-I, 4, 5; recollections of his 
boyhood in Baltimore, I-7, 8; 
outward aspects of the city at 
that time, 1-8, 9, 10; parents 
remove to Ballinrobe, Ireland, 
I-io; attendance at school in 
Ballinrobe, I-ii; his first 

studies and school com- 
panions, I-12, 13; sports in 
school, I- 13; confirmed by 
Archbishop McHale, I-14; 
death of Catherine, his favor- 
ite sister; his other sisters 
and his brothers, I-16; returns 
with the family to America, 
shipwrecked on the way, I- 16, 
17; family settles in New Or- 
leans ; G., clerk in grocery 
store of William C. Raymond, 
I-17, 18; illness from yellow 
fever, I-18, 19; influenced by 
sermons at Redemptorist mis- 
sion to enter the priesthood, 
I-19, 20; expresses wish to 
study for the priesthood in 
Maryland and to serve in that 
State, 1-22 ; entered St. 
Charles College, then in 
Howard County, Maryland, 
I-23; account of his journey 
from New Orleans to St. 
Charles, I-23, 24; recollections 
of the discipline at the College, 
I-24, 25 ; friendship with 
Ridgely Dorsey, a fellow stu- 
dent, I-26, 31 ; letter to Dorsey 
in 1857, I-35; difficulty in be- 
coming accustomed to the rule 
of silence, I-26, 27; high rank 
in studies, I-28; experiences 
with Father Randanne, I-30, 
31; called Dominus (Master) 
by fellow students, I-31 ; col- 
lege recreations, I-32; recollec- 
tions of G. by Bishop Burke 
of Albany, I-33, 34; delivers 
commencement day address, 
I-34 ; vacation trip to New Or- 
leans, I-34 to 27 \ enters St. 
Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, 
I-37; illness at St. Mary's, I- 
38, 39; master of discussions 
in philosophy, I-39; recollec- 
tions of him by Father Dissez, 
I-40, 41 ; ordained to the 
priesthood at the Baltimore 
Cathedral, 1861, I-41 ; career 
as a young priest, appointed 
assistant pastor of St. Pat- 



rick's Church, Baltimore, 
1861, I-44; introduced to the 
congregation, I-45 ; brief 
career as assistant, I-46 ; ap- 
pointed full pastor of St. 
Bridget's Church, Canton, 
then a Baltimore suburb, I- 
47 ; his congregation at St. 
Bridget's, I-49; recollections 
of kindness to him by the 
Smyth family, I-47, 48; vio- 
lence of Know Nothings in 
Canton and its vicinity, I-49; 
his crude living conditions 
there, I-49, 50; raises money 
for erection of rectory, I-50, 
52 ; conducts a church fair, I- 
52; his watch, sold for the 
fair, afterward treasured as a 
souvenir, I-S2; appointed to 
take charge of St. Lawrence's 
Church, Baltimore, in addition 
to St. Bridget's, I-53; hard- 
ships of the double service 
impair his health, I-53, 54; 
Civil War divisions in Balti- 
more during his pastorate, I- 
49 to 52; part of Cathedral 
congregation leaves when 
prayer for union is said, I-51, 
52; G.'s recollections of the in- 
cident, I-51, 52; his adherence 
to the Union cause, though 
taking no part in the struggle, 
I-52 ; chaplain at Forts Mc- 
Henry and Marshall, I-54 to 
59; interest in the case of Em- 
bert, a Confederate condemned 
to be hanged as a spy, I-55 ; 
Embert's sentence commuted 
by Lincoln, I-57 ; Embert mar- 
ried by G. after the war, I-57 ; 
protests against obstacles to 
his ministrations at Fort Mc- 
Henry, I-s8, 59; victor in fight 
with a drunken soldier, who 
attacked him, I-S9; subdues 
insane man who attempted to 
take possession of his rectory, 
I-60; experiences with Col. 
Luke Blackburn on a Missis- 
sippi river steamboat, I-60, 

61 ; delivers prophetic sermon 
on the night of Lincoln's 
assassination, I-60, 61, 62; 
marches in procession escort- 
ing Lincoln's body in Balti- 
more, I-62; Secretary to 
Archbishop Spalding; ap- 
pointed secretary to Spalding, 
I-63 ; his doubts on accepting, 
I-63, 64, 65 ; congregation's 
appeal to have him retained 
fails, I-65, 66; importance of 
G.'s duties as secretary, 1-6$, 
66 ; official and personal rela- 
tions with Spalding, I-67 to 
71 ; G.'s traits at that period, 
1-68, 69 ; established first Sun- 
day School at Baltimore 
Cathedral, I-71 ; librarian of 
archdiocese, I-71, 72; letter to 
the Rev. T. A. Becker on 
library methods, I-72 ; first 
sermons at Cathedral, I-72, 
72, ; assistant Chancellor of 
Second Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, I-73, 74, 75 ; ready 
adaptability to large tasks 
connected with council, I-74, 
75 ; nominated as Vicar Apos- 
tolic of North Carolina, I-75 ; 
accepts after a period of 
doubt, I-76; meets Andrew 
Johnson, President of U. S., 
I-79; G.'s life at archiepisco- 
pal residence in 1865-68, I-80, 

Mission labors in North 
Carolina; consecrated as 
bishop of Adramytpum in 
Baltimore _ Cathedral, I-82 ; 
youngest Bishop in the world, 
I-82; tribute to his virtues by 
the Rev. Thomas Foley, I-84; 
instructs Frances Fisher 
(Christian Reid) in the Cath- 
olic faith, I-85 ; her recollec- 
tions of him in 1867-68, I-85, 
86 ; illness of G. in October, 
1868, 1-86; arrives in Wil- 
mington, N. C, to be installed 
as Vicar Apostolic, 1-86, 87 ; 
his installation, and a sermon 



by Archbishop Spalding, I-87, 
88; G.'s address to congrega- 
tion, 1-88, 89; difficuhies of his 
wofk in North Carolina, I-89; 
"carpet bag" regime there, 
I-89, 90; views on citizenship 
for negroes, I-91 ; living con- 
ditions in Wilmington, I-91, 
92; companionship with the 
Rev. Mark Gross, I-91, 9^> 
begins first missionary tour in 
North Carolina, I-91, 92; his 
appeals to Protestants, wel- 
comed by them, I-92, 93; 
teaches and preaches in Prot- 
estant churches and public 
halls when no other buildings 
are available, I-93; sermons 
intended to win converts, I-93, 
94; arduous journeys in dilap- 
idated wagon, I-94, 95 ; entries 
in his journal describing tour, 
I-97 to loi ; visits to Fayette- 
ville, I-97; Goldsboro and 
Newbern, I-98; Swift Creek, 
Washington, Plymouth, Eden- 
ton, Littleton, Tarboro, Wil- 
son, Raleigh and other places, 
I-99 to loi ; letter to Arch- 
bishop Spalding on his tour, 
I-102, 103; poverty of his 
vicariate, I-103, 104; diocesan 
visits in second tour, 104, 
IDS ; his life endangered by 
exposure in trip to Newton 
Grove, I- 106 to 109; visita- 
tions in N. C. in 1870-71, I- 
iio, III; his interest in estab- 
lishing Catholic schools in, 
I-iii ; brings Sisters of Mercy 
to, I-iii; difficult to obtain 
priests for service in, I-113, 
114; liberal impressions re- 
ceived in vicariate continued 
strong throughout his life, 1- 
"4, US- 

Member of Vatican Council; 
summoned to attend Ecumen- 
ical Council of the Vatican, 
I-116, 117; sails from Balti- 
more on way to Rome, I- 120; 
experiences in crowds at 

Rome, I-120, 121 ; youngest 
Bishop in the council, I-121 ; 
American Bishops opposed to 
defining doctrine of infallible 
teaching office of Roman Pon- 
tiffs, although adhering to the 
doctrine in belief and prac- 
tice, I-122 to 124; declaration 
of Second Plenary Council of 
Baltimore on infallibility, I- 
123, 124; G. ouflines in his 
diary of the council views on 
the subject held at Rome, I- 
125 to 127; his observations 
on freedom of debate in the 
council, I-127, 128; comment 
on Archbishop Kenricks' atti- 
tude, I-128, 129; personal in- 
fallibility for Pontiff not as- 
serted, I- 129; definition of in- 
fallibility adopted by council, 
I- 129, 130; G. votes placet 
when final decision is taken, I- 
130; formative impressions re- 
ceived by him at council, I- 
130, 136 to 139; his impres- 
sions of Cardinal Pecci, after- 
wards Leo XIII, I-132; of 
Cardinal Manning, I-132, 133; 
of Archbishop (afterward 
Cardinal) McCloskey and 
others, I-134, 135; refrained 
from speaking in council 
on account of his youth, 

Bishop of Richmond; ap- 
pointed Bishop of Richmond, 
I-140; his fast developing 
powers at that time, I-141 ; 
difficulties in Richmond dio- 
cese, I-142, 143; success in 
winning converts to the Cath- 
olic faith, I-134, 135; episco- 
pal visitations in, I-145 to 151 ; 
organizes large parochial 
school in Richmond, I-148; 
illness from fever, I-148, 149; 
founds home for Little Sis- 
ters of the Poor, I-149, 150; 
attacks and drives off a robber 
who enters his room at night, 
1-151; arguments used in con- 



verting an infidel, I-153, 154; 
continues work in North Car- 
olina as administrator, I-156, 
157; assists Archbishop Bay- 
ley in Baltimore archdiocese, 
I-157; preaches at consecra- 
tion of Baltimore Cathedral 
(1876), I-157 to 159; views on 
elevation of Archbishop Mc- 
Closkey to Cardinalate, I- 160; 
opposes President Grant's rec- 
ommendation for federal con- 
trol of education, I-160 to 
162 ; farewell sermon in Rich- 
mond when transferred to 
Baltimore as Archbishop, I- 
162 to 164. 

Archbishop of Baltimore; 
elevated to Archbishopric at 
age of 43 years, I- 165; recom- 
mended for the seat by Spald- 
ing and Bayley, I-166; Bay- 
ley's appreciation of his tal- 
ents, I-167, 168; their warm 
friendship, letters exchanged, 
I-169 to 171 ; assists Bailey in 
ecclesiastical ceremonies, I- 
169; Bailey writes to him 
proposing his nomination as 
coadjutor with right of suc- 
cession, I-171, 172; G. not in- 
clined to accept on grounds 
of general incapacity and 
physical weakness, I-172, 173; 
Bayley persuades him to ac- 
cept and obtains his nomina- 
tion, I-174; G. appointed titu- 
lar Archbishop of Janopolis 
and coadjutor, I-174; death 
of Bayley, I-175 ; his funeral, 
I-176; G. begins duties in Bal- 
timore, I-177; entries in his 
journal showing his first ac- 
tivities there, I-177 to 180; 
favors the Rev. John J. Keane 
as his successor in Richmond, 
I-178; Keane appointed, I- 
179; the Rev. M. S. Gross ap- 
pointed Vicar Apostolic of N. 
C. but declines, I- 179, 180; 
the Rev. H. P. Northrop is 
appointed and accepts, I- 180; 

G.'s interest in institutions for 
reform of boys, I-181 ; his 
sermons at Cathedral attract 
many non-Catholics I-182; 
pallium conferred upon him 
in Baltimore Cathedral, I-183 
to 187; his address on that 
occasion, I-185, 186; becomes 
a popular figure among people 
of all creeds in diocese, I- 
188, 189; faith in direct guid- 
ance by Providence, I-191 ; 
felicitates Leo XIII on elec- 
tion as Pope (1878), I-192; 
close ties with Leo, I- 191 ; G.'s 
faculty of judging men, I-192; 
friendship with the Very Rev. 
A. L. Magien, I-192 to 195; 
experiences on diocesan jour- 
neys in southern Maryland, I- 
19s to 198; visits to Washing- 
ton early in his service as 
Archbishop, I-200 to 202; con- 
fers with President Hayes on 
Catholic Indians, I-201 ; issues 
pastoral letter, expressing hor- 
ror at attack on President 
Garfield, I-202, 203; sympathy 
conveyed to Mrs. Garfield in 
a letter, I-204; sermon an- 
swering doubts on efficacy of 
prayers for Garfield, I-205, 
207; influence in behalf of 
celebration of Thanksgiving 
Day in Catholic churches, I- 
207 to 209; co-operates with 
civic authorities in public cele- 
bration of Baltimore sesqui- 
centennialj I-210, 211; writes 
to Rome denying that Ger- 
man Catholics are neglected 
by Bishops in America, I-212; 
trip to Rome, conferences 
with Leo XIII, I-212; their 
accord on appeal by the 
Church to peoples rather than 
governments, I-213, 214; visits 
Cardinal Newman on return, 
I-214, 215; death of his 
mother, I-21S, 216; relations 
with James G. Blaine, I-216, 
217; sermon on anarchist 



riots in Chicago (1886), I-217, 
218; raises funds for yellow 
fever sufferers in South, I- 
2IQ; wide civic activities in 
Baltimore, I-220; not re- 
stricted by creed in these ac- 
tivities, 1-22 1 ; habit of taking 
long walks in the city, I-221 
to 226; punctuality in return- 
ing from walks, I-226 ; student 
for many years of U. S. his- 
tory and civil government, I- 
228; incessant labors, I-229; 
personal routine in early days 
of archbishopric, I-230, 233; 
consults with Bishops on con- 
vocation of Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, I-238; 
opposes convocation at first, 
fearing revival of intolerant 
attacks on Church, I-236, 237; 
confers with Leo XIII in 
Rome on the subject, I-240, 
241 ; Leo decides to convoke 
Council, appoints G. to preside 
as Apostolic Delegate, I-241 ; 
his aim to make the council's 
work enduring and to ward 
off intolerant attacks, I-242 ; 
sermon on visit to Rome, I- 
243 to 24S; issues pastoral 
letter protesting against seiz- 
ure of American college in 
Rome, I-246 to 248; seizure 
prevented by American diplo- 
matic intervention, I-248; G.'s 
preparations for council un- 
dermine his health, I-248; his 
skill as presiding officer, I- 
249, 250; decrees and pastoral 
letter of Council, I-250 to 274 ; 
expression of harmony be- 
tween Catholic Church and 
American institutions, I-251 to 
253; Council founds Catholic 
University, I-254, 257; Q. 
president of board of trustees 
of University, I-256; closing 
address to Council, I-273, 274 ; 
its decrees approved by Leo 
XIII without substantial 
change, I-274; Leo's high 

commendation of its results, 
I-275, 276. 

First Years as Cardinal; 
his work in presiding over 
Third Plenary Council causes 
Leo XIII to elevate him to 
Cardinalate, I-236 ; receives 
first information from Rome 
of his elevation, I-280; official 
notice from Cardinal Jacobini, 
I-281, 282; red biretta con- 
ferred on him in Baltimore 
June 30th, 1886, 25th anniver- 
sary of his ordination, I-282, 
284 to 291, large gathering of 
Hierarchy for, I-284; sermon 
of Archbishop Ryan, I-28S to 
287 ; Archbishop Kenrick be- 
stows biretta, I-284, 287, 288; 
response of G., I-288 to 290; 
wide observance of the occa- 
sion in Baltimore, I-290, 293 ; 
G.'s elevation welcomed by 
men of all creeds, I-293, by 
the secular press, I-294, 295 ; 
consideration of national and 
world policies at outset of his 
elevation to Cardinalate, I-296 
to 305 ; his plans basically ec- 
clesiastical but reaching far 
outside the Church, I-297; his 
creed of service to men, I- 
297 ; desires full cooperation 
between the Church and the 
American democracy, I-297 to 
300; considers union of 
Church and State in America 
impracticable and undesirable, 
I-299; aims at uplifting labor 
in order to prepare it for its 
part in democracy, I-300; ab- 
hors radicalism, I-301 ; favors 
reasonable assertion of nation- 
alism, but without aggression, 
I-301 ; resolves to execute all 
his plans simultaneously, I- 
301, 302; great resources for 
his task, I-303; his study and 
work shop in archiepiscopal 
residence in Baltimore in 
which he formed and prose- 
cuted his plans, I-305 ; goes to 



Rome to receive red hat, I- 
306, 307 ; receives assignment 
of titular Church of Santa 
Maria in Trastevere, I-307; 
address at installation in that 
church on relations of Church 
and State in U. S., I-308 to 
310; bases address on Leo 
XIIFs encyclical on the con- 
stitution of Christian States, 
I-309; declares the Church 
adapts herself to all forms of 
government and thrives in the 
atmosphere of liberty; that in 
America "where there is lib- 
erty without license and au- 
thority without despotism," 
she is protected by the gov- 
ernment ; discusses strength 
of American government, I- 
309, 310; thanks Leo XIII in 
the name of "our separated 
brethren in America," as well 
as American Catholics for 
elevation of another citizen of 
the U. S. to Cardinalate, I- 
310; his address causes com- 
ment in Rome as running 
counter to long accepted 
views then held by European 
Protestants as well as Cath- 
olics, I-311; subsequent basis 
of church policies in America, 
I-312; effect in causing Amer- 
ica to be better understood 
abroad, I-313, 314; views of 
G. subsequently expressed in 
opposition to direct relations 
between Church and State in 
U. S., I-314 to 319; decision 
to work for elevation of labor, 
I-300, 301 ; sudden growth of 
Knights of Labor in U. S., 
shortly before G.'s elevation 
to Cardinalate, I-320, 321 ; 
pressure for labor legislation 
in Congress, I-321 ; causes of 
development of labor move- 
ment at that time, I-320 to 
323; Knights adjudged a for- 
bidden secret society by Hier- 
archy of Canada, I-324; con- 

demnation in Canada sus- 
tained by congregation of the 
Holy Office, I-324; necessity 
of a decision regarding the 
Knights imposed upon Hier- 
archy of U. S., I-324 ; G. con- 
fers on the subject with Pres- 
ident Cleveland and consults 
Cardinal Manning by corre- 
spondence, I-326 ; summons 
T. V. Powderly, head of or- 
der, to Baltimore for inquiry, 
I-326; Powderly appears be- 
fore Archbishops, I-327 ; 
P. shows that secrecy of 
Knights is for their protec- 
tion and does not prevent 
Catholics from manifesting 
everything in confessional, I- 
327; Archbishops vote against 
condemnation, I-327 ; Gibbons 
goes to Rome to wage strug- 
gle in behalf of toleration of 
the Knights, I-328; criticized 
as a radical for his course, I- 
328, 329, 332; organizes cam- 
paign in Rome, I-332, 333 5 
helped by Manning, I-333, 
334; addresses letter in de- 
fense of Knights, and of or- 
ganized labor in general, to 
Propaganda, I-335 to 352; 
letter and efforts of G. turn 
opinion in Rome in favor of 
Knights, I-3S3, 354; decision 
reached not to condemn the 
order in U. S. and to lift ban 
in Canada, I-354; Manning 
applauds decision, I-355 ; Leo 
XIII incorporates G.'s views 
in encyclical on the condition 
of labor, I-356 to 359; Arch- 
bishop Ireland hails G. as a 
prophet, I-360; G. opposes 
condemnation of Henry 
George's book. Progress and 
Poverty, on the ground that 
it would stifle free discussion 
on the labor movement, I- 
362, I-363 ; relations with 
Archbishop Corrigan on the 
subject, I-362, 363; appeals to 



Rome against condemnation, 
I-364 to 366; obtains Man- 
ning's support, I-366, 367, 370. 
371; causes members of Hier- 
archy to exert pressure at 
Rome against condemnation, 
I-368, 369; condemnation pre- 
vented, I-371 ; letter to Arch- 
bishop Elder on free discus- 
sion regarding labor, I-372 to 
374; refuses to intervene in 
kcGlynn case, I-374 to 375; 
letter to Corrigan explaining 
his position, 1-375. 2>1^ '< effects 
reconciliation between SatoUi 
and Corrigan, I-375 to 376; 
opposes all condemnations by 
the Church except as a last 
resort, 1-377, 378; health un- 
dermined by labors in Rome 
in Winter of 1886-87, I-379 to 
381 ; letter to Archbishop El- 
der on, I-381 ; sustained by 
faith in guidance of Provi- 
dence, I-379, 380; relaxes in 
leisurely trip homev^rard, I- 
381, 382; conferences with 
Manning in London, I-382, 
383; obtains help of Josephite 
Fathers in work among 
negroes in U. S., I-383 to 385 ; 
receives great popular wel- 
come in Baltimore on his re- 
turn, I-385 to 389; preaches 
at Cathedral on his European 
trip, I-389 to 391 ; offers 
prayer at celebration of cen- 
tennial of American Constitu- 
tion in Philadelphia, I-391 to 
394; trip through Western 
States in 1887, I-396 to 406; 
confers pallium on Archbishop 
Gross in Portland, Ore., I-397 
to 400; public honors at St. 
Paul, Minn., I-397 to 399; at 
Helena, Mont., I-399, 400; at 
Portland, I-400; at San Fran- 
cisco and Los Angeles, I-401 ; 
at New Orleans, I-401, 402; 
impressions of his trip, I-403 
to 406; attends convention at 
Hot Springs, N. C, in aid of 

immigration to South, I-406, 

407. , .... 
Increasing participation in 

public affairs; relations with 
President Cleveland, I-408 to 
418; Cleveland's letter to, in 
1887, proposing gift to Leo 
XIII in honor of jubilee, I- 

408, 409; G. suggests copy of 
U. S. Constitution as appro- 
priate gift, I-409; Cleveland 
approves and sends gift 
through G., I-410 to 412; let- 
ter to Cleveland on reception 
of gift in Rome, I-411; ac- 
knowledgment by Leo ex- 
presses admiration for Con- 
stitution, I-412; visits to 
Cleveland at White House, I- 
415 to 417; Qeveland con- 
sults him on tariff message 
and other subjects, I-416, 417; 
his admiration of G., I-417, 
418; letter to Cleveland on re- 
tirement from presidency in 
1889, I-418; issues pastoral 
letter directing services in 
Catholic churches in honor 
of looth anniversary of 
first President's inauguration, 
I-419; on proposals for re- 
union of Christendom, I-420, 
421 ; conceives large project 
for celebration of centennial 
of American Hierarchy, I- 
425; consults Church leaders 
on project, I-427; public in- 
terest in celebration aroused, 
I-428; Leo XIII encourages 
celebration, I-430 to 432; 
sends Satolli to represent him, 
I-432; large gathering of 
Hierarchy at main ecclesiasti- 
cal observance in Baltimore 
Cathedral (Nov. 1889), 1-433; 
sermons of Archbishops Ryan 
and Ireland, I-433 to 439; 
Congress of Laymen meets in 
Baltimore ; addressed by G., 
I-441 to 446; dedication of 
School of Sacred Sciences at 
Catholic University, I-446 to 



452 ; reception to visitors by 
Mayor Latrobe in Baltimore 
City Hall, I-452 to 454 ; sequel 
to celebration in a meeting in 
behalf of high license for 
liquor saloons in Maryland, 
I-4S4 to 456; G. and succes- 
sors in Archbishopric ap- 
pointed by Leo XIII to hold 
office of Chancellor of Cath- 
olic University, I-448; con- 
sulted by Leo XIII in 1885 on 
establishment of direct rela- 
tions between Papacy and U. 
S. Government, I-458; opposes 
direct relations, I-459; letter 
to Archbishop Elder in 1887 
on the subject, I-459; in 1889, 
on same subject, I-460; his 
opposition based on his views 
of respective functions of 
Church and State, I-460, 461 ; 
growth of Church in U. S. 
causes revival of question, *I- 
463 ; Satolli sent as Apostolic 
Delegate in 1892 without dip- 
lomatic status, I-466; ap- 
pointed permanent Delegate to 
the Church in America in 
1893, I-468; G.'s jobjections 
removed by manner of ap- 
pointment and its results, I- 
469; presides at ceremonies 
attending elevation of Satolli 
to Cardinalate, I-470 ; Satolli s 
gratitude for his help, I-470; 
G.'s views of what a public 
school ought to be, I-472 to 
474; his work for education 
in Baltimore and N. C, in 
early days, I-474; pastoral 
letter on education (1883), I- 
474 to 477 ; commends read- 
ing of Bible in public schools, 
I-478; opposes as inopportune 
a proposed bill for State 
appropriation for Catholic 
schools in Maryland, I-479; 
defends Archbishop Ireland 
against criticism based on 
school experiments at Fari- 
bault and Stillwater, Minn., I- 

484; presides at meeting of 
Archbishops, at which Ireland 
explains his plan, I-484, 487; 
Archbishops approve plan, 
sustained by Propaganda, I- 
487 ; G. presides at meeting 
of Archbishops, at which 
Satolli outlines 14 proposi- 
tions on school question, I- 
488, 490; letter of Leo XIII 
to G. on the question, I-400, 
491 ; G. in letter to Corrigan 
deplores friction on the sub- 
ject, I-4.92. 

Americanism and the Ca- 
hensly movement ; G. strongly 
opposes the Cahensly agitation 
as tending to introduce per- 
manent foreign influences in 
the Church in U. S., I-505 to 
509 ; rise of Cahensly move- 
ment in Germany, with de- 
mands for preservation of 
nationality and language of 
immigrants in U. S. and ap- 
pointment of Bishops on the 
basis of nationality, I-501 to 
504; political authorities in 
U. S. disturbed by Cahensly 
movement, I-5ro; G.'s inter- 
view in Frankfurter Zeitung, 
I-S13, 514; the Rev. P. M. 
Abbelen spokesman of Amer- 
ican Cahenslyites in Rome, I- 
517; presents plea there, Ire- 
land and Keane reply, I-S18 
to 521; G. and Archbishops 
of New York, Philadelphia, 
and Boston also reply to Ab- 
belen, I-52I- G.'s vigorous 
letter to Arcnbishop Elder on 
the subject, I-S22; calls meet- 
ing of Archbishops, who 
frame protest to Propaganda, 
I-S22, 523; Pope refuses Ca- 
hensly petition for appoint- 
ment of nationalist Bishops, I- 
523; President Harrison com- 
mends G. for his stand, I-523 
to 526; G.'s sermon in Mil- 
waukee Aug. 20, 1 89 1, declar- 
ing that "God and our Coun- 



try" should be the watchword 
for all in America, regardless 
of origin, I-527 to 530; Cardi- 
nal Ledochowski, in letter to 
G., urges that Cahenslyite 
agitation be stopped, I-S30 to 
532 ; Cahenslyites attack 
Bishop Keane, I-532; Keane 
removed as rector of Catholic 
University, 1-533, 534; intol- 
erant movement of American 
Protective Association attrib- 
uted in part to the Cahensly 
agitation, 1-535 to ,540 ; G.'s 
victory in the controversy a 
powerful force in solidifying 
Americans in support of the 
government in the World 
War, I-540 to 542; obtains 
loan of Vatican relics for Co- 
lumbian Exposition at Chi- 
cago, I-554; pastoral letter on 
Columbus, I-566 ; arranges 
Columbian celebration at Bal- 
timore, I-566, 567; offers 
prayer at dedication of expo- 
sition, I-567, 568; favors par- 
tial opening of the Fair Sun- 
day afternoons and evenings, 
I-568, 569; urges Catholic 
participation in Parliament of 
Religions at Fair, I-569; ad- 
dresses Parliament on "The 
Needs of Humanity Supplied 
by the Catholic Church," I- 
571, 572; reports to Rampolla 
on Parliament, 1-573 ; joins in 
celebration of Maryland day 
at fair, I-573; letter to the 
Rev. G. W. King on Christian 
unity, I-576; sermon on, in 
Baltimore Cathedral, I-576, 
577; visits Rome, confers with 
Leo XIII, I-577; highly com- 
mended by Leo for his work 
in America, I-578; transmits 
to Vatican letter from Chi- 
cago Methodist Committee 
complaining as to status ol 
Protestants in Peru, Ecuador, 
and Bolivia, I-s8i ; Cardinal 
Rampolla's reply, I-581, 582; 

receives public welcome on his 
return to Baltimore, I-582, 
583; silver jubilee of his 
episcopate celebrated at Bal- 
timore Cathedral, II-585 to 
589; gift from Leo XIII, II- 
586 ; Archbishop Corrigan 
preaches at Mass in honor of 
jubilee, II-586; Archbishop 
Ireland preaches at vespers 
on "The Church and the 
Age," hails G. as the "provi- 
dential Archbishop," II-587 to 
589 ; banquet at Catholic Club, 
II-589, 590; delegations pres- 
ent addresses to G., II-591 ; 
profoundly moved by death 
of Cardinal Manning, II-591 ; 
his work in relation to Leo 
XIII and Manning, II-592 to 
594; comparison of his person- 
ality with that of Leo XIII, 
II-624 to 627 ; President Cleve- 
land transmits through him 
to Leo a gift in honor of Leo's 
golden jubilee as Bishop, II- 
629 to 631 ; G.'s letter to Leo 
on his 25th anniversary as 
Pope, II-631 ; Pope addresses 
to him an encyclical for Amer- 
ican Bishops, II-632, 633; 
death of Leo XIII, II-634; 
G. starts for Rome to attend 
conclave, II-634, 635 ; first 
American to take part in elec- 
tion of a Pope, II-636; Car- 
dinal Sarto declines election, 
II-644; persuaded by Satolli 
at G.'s urging to accept and is 
elected, II-645 to 656; takes 
name of Pius X, II-646, 647; 
gratitude to G., II-647, 648; 
G. confers with him on 
Church in America, II-649 to 
651 ; C: receives new ovation 
in Baltimore on return from 
jRome, II-655 to 657 ; preaches 
in Cathedral on experiences at 
Conclave, II-657 to 662 ; visits 
Rome again in 1908, confers 
with Pius X, II-663; delivers 
sermon at Eucharistic Con- 



gress in London, II-663 to 
667; guest of Duke of Nor- 
folk, 11-668; welcomed by 
governor, mayor and others 
on return home, 11-668, 669; 
moved by rise of Socialist 
movement in U. S., II-673, 
674; decides to marshal 
church influence to check it, 
II-674; delivers sermon in 
1906 as prelude to great 
gathering of prelates in honor 
of Baltimore Cathedral cen- 
tenary, analyzing Socialist 
doctrines, and warning against 
them, II-676 to 678; his 
declarations supported by 
Archbishops Ryan and Glen- 
non in sermons at main cele- 
bration of centenary, II-678 
to 680; tribute to by Bishop 
Donahue, II-682. 

Honors and activities in 
later life: G.'s silver jubilee 
as Cardinal and golden jubilee 
as priest in 191 1, marked by 
honors never before accorded 
to an American churchman, 
11-688 to 739; civic celebration 
of jubilee in Baltimore, II-689 
to 710; addresses lauding G. 
as patriot and statesman by 
Governor Crothers of Mary- 
land, II-692, 693 ; President 
Taft, 11-693, 694; Ex-Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, II-694 to 697; 
Elihu Root, II-698; Speaker 
Clark, of H. of Representa- 
tives, II-698; Ex-Speaker 
Cannon, II-699; James Bryce, 
British Ambassador to U. S., 
II-699, 700; Mayor Preston of 
Baltimore, II-700, 701 ; reply 
of G. expressing faith in U. 
S. constitution and exhorting 
obedience to law, II-702 to 
704; public comment on novel 
tribute, II-705 to 710; ecclesi- 
astical celebration of jubilee 
in Baltimore Cathedral, II-711 
to 739; G. delivers sermon, as 
a prelude, commenting on 

growth of Church and coun- 
try and opposing proposed 
amendments to U. S. Consti- 
tution, for election of Sena- 
tors by popular vote, and for 
initiative, referendum and re- 
call of public officials, II-716 
to 721 ; lays cornerstone of 
Gibbons Memorial Hall, at 
Catholic University, II-724 to 
727; great gathering of Hier- 
archy in Baltimore Cathedral 
for main celebration, n-728; 
letter of Pius X to G., n-729 
to 730; sermon of Archbishop 
Glennon, n-730, 731 ; of Arch- 
bishop Blenk, II-731 to 734; 
observance at St. Mary's 
Seminary, II-724 to 738; G. 
receives silver service as gift 
from people of Baltimore, 
II-722 to 724; prophetic ser- 
mon as great Baltimore fire 
of 1904 was beginning, n-740, 
741 ; his residence endangered, 
II-742; enables Catholic Uni- 
versity to recover from losses 
in Waggaman failure, II-744, 
745; sermon at 2Sth Anni- 
versary of university, II-745, 
746; urges civic activity by 
Catholics in sermon marking 
centenary of N. Y. Arch- 
diocese, II-747; attends Eu- 
charistic Congress in Mon- 
treal, n-748, 749; pledges pay- 
ment of debts of a priest, 
n-749, 750; defends doctrine 
of immortality in discussion 
with Edison, II-750 to 753; 
honored by N. C. Society 
of Baltimore, 11-753, 754 J 
shocked by death of Arch- 
bishop Ryan, _ 11-754, 755; 
urges cooperation by laymen 
in address in Milwaukee, 
11-755, 756; gives $10,000 for 
rebuilding St. Charles Col- 
lege, n-756; last meeting with 
Pius X, n-757; receives 
Queen Elizabeth of Belgium 
at Territet, Switzerland, visits 



King Albert in Brussels, II- 
757; golden jubilee of his 
episcopate, II-758 to 760; let- 
ters to G. from Benedict Xy 
commending Catholic Uni- 
versity, II-746; from same on 
golden jubilee of his episco- 
pate, II-758, 759; conceptions 
of his own civic duty, II-761 ; 
careful to vote in every elec- 
tion, II-762; identified with 
no political party, II-763; 
prayer at Democratic conven- 
tion which nominated Wilson 
for President, II-765, 766; 
prayer at Republican conven- 
tion which nominated Hard- 
ing, II-768; opposes Philippine 
independence on ground of 
lack of preparation of the 
people, II-768 to 773 ; deplores 
Mexican revolutions, helps 
refugee priests and nuns, II- 
1T2) to 775; address to Third 
National Peace Congress, II- 
775 ; influential in overthrow 
of Louisiana lottery, I-776 to 
778; opposes total prohibition 
of sale of liquor, favors local 
option, II-779 to 782; opposes 
Woman Suffrage Amendment 
to federal constitution, II-782; 
exalts Christian home and 
motherhood, II-782 to 784; 
warns of divorce evil, II-784 
to 787 ; condemns "race sui- 
cide," II-787, 788; institutes 
Pan-American Mass on 
Thanksgiving Day in Wash- 
ington, II-789, 790; article 
in North American Review 
on Catholic citizenship, 791 
to 793; offers prayer at 
dedication of Louisiana Pur- 
chase Exposition, St. Louis, 
II-793; condemns lynching, 
II-794, 795; against educa- 
tional requirement for immi- 
grants, II-796, 797; deplores 
persecution of Jews in Russia 
under Czars, II-797; views on 
Sunday observance, II-797, 

798; critic of faults in Amer- 
ican life, II-799; denounces 
ballot frauds, II-800, 801 ; 
opposes national ownership of 
public utilities, II-802 ; com- 
mended by Roosevelt for 
frankness of public utter- 
ances, II-802. 

The World War and after: 
Cardinal Gibbons 80 years old 
when World War began, 
II-804; grieved at sufferings 
of Belgium, il-8oS, 806 ; death 
of Pius X Aug. 20, 1914, 
II-806; G. arrives too late to 
join in electing successor, II- 
807 ; conferences with Bene- 
dict XV, II-807; moved by 
sinking of Lusitania, II-808, 
809; comment on sinking of 
the Arabic, II-809, 810; dis- 
cusses peace possibilities with 
President Wilson and Secre- 
tary Lansing, II-810; ex- 
presses hope that America will 
not be drawn in, II-811 ; com- 
mends League to Enforce 
Peace, II-811, 812; advocates 
universal military training, 
II-812 ; expresses full support 
of public authorities on day 
America enters war, II-813 ; 
Archbishops on his proposal 
pledge active support to gov- 
ernment, II-813, 815; address 
at Emmitsburg, Md., predict- 
ing victory, II -816; National 
Catholic War Council formed, 
II-817 ; G. proposes formation 
of new council to be com- 
posed of the American Arch- 
bishops, II-818; plan adopted, 
II-818, 819; G. as president of 
council lends his full influ- 
ence to U. S. Government, 
II-819, 820; urges coal miners 
to spur production, II-822; 
defends course of Benedict 
XV in war, II-824, 826; aids 
Liberty Loan campaigns, II- 
826, 827; at end of hostilities, 
declares, "We have conquered 



because we believe that 
righteousness exalteth a na- 
tion," II-829; letter to Wilson 
requesting him to visit Pope 
on trip to Europe for Peace 
Conference, II-831, 832; Wil- 
son visits Benedict XV, II- 
832; G.'s help in problems of 
reconstruction, II-833 ; calls 
for firm policy towards ex- 
treme radicals, II-833, 834; 
National Catholic War Coun- 
cil reconstructed as National 
Catholic Welfare Council to 
deal with problems of peace, 
II-835; G. on America as the 
Good Samaritan to Europe, 
II-837, 838; supports League 
of Nations, II-839 and 840; 
characteristics as a preacher, 
II-843 to 850; impressions of 
his personality upon congre- 
gations in Baltimore Cathe- 
dral, II-844; aims at sim- 
plicity of utterances, II-84S ; 
powerful effect produced 
upon hearers, II-847; many 
Protestants go to hear him, 
II-850; general topics of his 
pulpit utterances, II-850, 851; 
views on sermonizing, II-853 
to 857; frequent use of ex- 
tracts from Scripture, II-857 
to 859; sermons on spiritual 
reading, II-857 to 859 ; prayer, 
II-8S9, 860; divine clemency, 
11-860, 861; "What is a 
Saint?", II-861 to 863; per- 
sonal providence, II-863 to 
865; joyousness of disposi- 
tion, 11-865, 866; solicitude of 
mind, 11-866 to 869; "Social 
and Domestic Joys of 
Heaven," II-869 to 871 ; re- 
flections on death, II-872; see 
also Sermons of Cardinal 
Gibbons ; fondness for read- 
ing, II-873 to 875; tastes in 
reading, II-876, 877; literary 
style, II-878; story of the 
writing of The Faith of Our 
Fathers, II-878 to 882; out- 

line of the book, II-883; G. 
amazed at its popularity, II- 
885; his second book, Our 
Christian Heritage, 11-888 to 
897; The Ambassador of 
Christ, a book for priests, 
II-897 to 901 ; Discourses 
and Sermons, II-901 ; Retro- 
spect of Fifty Years, II-901 
to 903 ; personality of G., 
II-904 to 982; his endurance 
and vital force, II-905 ; daily 
routine, II-906 to 925 ; ex- 
tensive correspondence, II- 
910, 911; never allowed his 
charities to be known, II-913, 
914; gave away great sums, 
II-915 ; democratic receptions 
to visitors, II-915 to 919; mid- 
day walks, II-920 to 922; 
short rest period after mid- 
day dinner, II-923; more 
work followed by a long 
afternoon walk, II-924, 925 ; 
spent 3^ to 4 hours daily in 
private devotions, II-925 ; 5lew 
Year receptions, II-929 to 
931 ; exaltation of simple 
manhood, II-933, 934 ; mingles 
with people of Baltimore 
socially, II-936 to 939; bril- 
liant social gifts, II-936, 937; 
friendship with Monsignor 
McManus, II-940; with Mi- 
chael Jenkins, II-941 to 943; 
with Joseph Friedenwald, II- 
943, 944; cordial personal re- 
lations with many Protestants, 
II-947 to 955 ; health and re- 
creations, II-955 to 965 ; 
anecdotes of Cardinal Gib- 
bons, II-966 to 982 ; elements 
of greatness, II-983 to 1023 ; 
high esteem of him by Leo 
XIII, Cardinals Manning and 
Rampolla, Presidents Cleve- 
land and Roosevelt, II-984; 
aspects of sublimity in his 
character, II-985 to 989; his 
humility, II-988, 989; work in 
allaying tolerance concerning 
religion, 11-991 to 994; im- 



portance of his victory for 
Americanism in the Church, 
II-996 to looi ; his influence 
in causing America to be un- 
derstood abroad, II-iooi to 
1004; great services in defense 
of the rights of labor, II-1003 
to 1006; to the U. S. Govern- 
ment in war problems, II- 
II-1006; his work as a re- 
former, II-1007; gifts as a 
leader, II-1008 to 1023; im- 
portance of his work at Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, 
II-1009 to loii; qualities as a 
statesman considered to be of 
the highest order^ II-1012, 
1013; rank in authorship, 
II-1013 to 1015; remarkable 
mental traits, II-1015 to 1018; 
memory, II-1018 to 1019; im- 
pressions of greatness pro- 
duced on others, II-1020 to 
1023 ; struggle against physi- 
cal weakness in later years, II- 
1024 to 1026; hopefulness on 
his last birthday, II-1027; 
collapsed while preaching at 
Havre de Grace, Md., II-1028, 
1029; death of his eldest sis- 
ter, Mary, II-1030; ill while 
attending church ceremony at 
Emmitsburg, Md., II-1030; 
goes to home of Miss Mary 
O. Shriver, sister of his life- 
long friend, at Union Hills, 
Md., to rest, II-1031 ; his ill- 
ness becomes critical there, 
II-1031 to 1033; sympathy 
from Pope Benedict, II-1032; 
from President Wilson, II- 
1033 ; removed to his resi- 
dence in Baltimore, II-1033 ; 
his strength improves slightly, 
II-1033, 1034; article on "the 
Constitution and George 
Washington," for Washing- 
ton's Birthday, 1921, II-1036 
to 1040; in a magazine on 
"Young Man, Expect Great 
Things," II-1041, 1042; his 
strength fails fast, II-1043 

to 104s; visit from Arch- 
bishop Bonzano, Apostolic 
Delegate, II-1044, 1045; death 
of Cardinal Gibbons, II-1046; 
mourning throughout the U. 
S. and also abroad, II- 1047 to 
1054; tributes from President 
Harding, II-1048; ex-Presi- 
dent Taft, II- 1048, 1049; Car- 
dinal O'Connell, II-1050, 1051 ; 
from Baltimore Protestant 
ministers, II-1053, 1054; from 
the American press, II-1056, 
1057; large gathering of 
Hierarchy and of representa- 
tives of the nation, state and 
city at the funeral, II-1060; 
sermon of Archbishop Glen- 
non ; II-1061 to 1065 ; body 
placed in crypt of Baltimore 
Cathedral, II-106S. 

Gibbons, Thomas, father of the 
Cardinal, born in Ireland in 
1800, married Bridget Walsh, 
emigrated to Canada and 
thence to Baltimore, I-2; 
clerk in Baltimore, I-2, 3, 9, 
10; became a citizen of the 
United States, I-9 ; his health 
having failed, he returned to 
Ireland and became a farmer 
at Ballinrobe, I-io, 11; his 
death in 1847, Cardinal Gib- 
bons cared for his grave, I- 
14, IS- 

Gibbons, Thomas, brother of the 
Cardinal, died in New Or- 
leans, I-16. 

Gibbons, Catherine, sister of G., 
died in Ireland in her seven- 
teenth year, I-16. 

Gibbons, John T,, brother of the 
Cardinal, Lenten visits to, by 
Cardinal, over a period of 
many years, I-216. 

Gibbons, Mary, eldest sister of G., 
nursed him in yellow fever 
attack, I- 18; her death in New 
Orleans at the age of 92, I- 
16, II-1030. 

Gibbons Memorial Hall, at Catho- 
lic University of America, 



cornerstone laid by G., II-724; 
address of Archbishop Farley 
on that occasion, II-72S to 
727; address of G., II-727. 

Giberga, Eliseo, visits G. as Cuban 
representative in interest of 
preventing persecution of 
Church in Cuba, II-623. 

Gillow, Bishop, representative of 
Mexico at celebration of cen- 
tennial of American Hier- 
archy, I-432. 

Gilmour, Bishop, of Cleveland, 
active in work of Third Plen- 
ary Council of Baltimore, I- 
249; letter of G. to, opposing 
condemnation of Henry 
George's book. Progress and 
Poverty, I-368; speech at 
dedication of School of 
Sacred Sciences at Catholic 
University, I-449, 450. 

Gittings, John S., of Baltimore, 
his help solicited in saving the 
life of John R. H. Embert, a 
condemned Confederate sol- 
dier whose chaplain G. was, 
1-55) 56; his wife successfully 
interceded with President 
Lincoln for Embert, I-56. 

Glennon, Archbishop, of St. 
Louis, warning against Social- 
ism in sermon at Baltimore 
Cathedral centenary, n-678, 
679; sermon at funeral of G., 
n-io6i to 1065. 

Goldsboro, N. C, G.'s visit to, 
as Vicar Apostolic, I-98; ill 
from fever there, I-148, 149. 

Gordonsville, Va., visited by G. as 
Bishop, I-147. 

Gorman, Arthur P., U. S. Sena- 
tor, attends banquet in honor 
of G.'s silver jubilee as 
Bishop, n-589, 590. 

Gotti, Cardinal, supported for 
Pope at conclave of 1903, II- 

Grand Bahama, Island of, G. and 
his family shipwrecked on 
while returning to America in 
1853, I-16, 17. 

Grant, U. S. President, his pro- 
posal to Congress for federal 
control of education opposed 
by G., I-160 to 162; approves 
Catholic schools for Indians, 


Greatness, Elements of, possessed 
by Cardinal Gibbons, high es- 
teem of him by Leo XIII, 
Cardinals Manning and Ram- 
polla, Presidents Cleveland 
and Roosevelt, II-984; aspects 
of sublimity in his character, 
II-985 to 989; his humility, 
II-988, 989; work in allaying 
intolerance concerning reli- 
gion, II-991 to 994; import- 
ance of his victory for Amer- 
icanism in the Church, II-996 
to looi ; his influence in caus- 
ing America to be understood 
abroad, II-iooi to 1004; 
churchmanship, II-1009 to 
1012; see also Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore ; services 
in defense of the rights of 
labor, II-1003 to 1006; to the 
U. S. Government in war prob- 
lems, II-1006; his work as a 
reformer, II-1007; gifts as a 
leader, II-1008 to 1023 ; im- 
portance of his work at Third 
Plenary Council of Balti- 
more, II-1009 to loii; quali- 
ties as a statesman considered 
to be of the highest order, 
II-1012, 1013; rank in author- 
ship, II-1013 to 1015 ; remark- 
able mental traits, II-1015 to 
1018; memory, II-1018 to 
1019; impressions of great- 
ness produced on others, 
I I- I 020 to 1023. 

Greenville, N. C, G.'s visit to, as 
Vicar Apostolic, I-93. 

Gregory X, Pope, his regulations 
for Papal conclaves, II-638. 

Gregory, XIII, his correction of 
Julian calendar, I-567. 

Gross, Archbishop, of Oregon; 
present when Bishop of Sa- 
vannah at conferring of pal- 



lium on G., I- 184; pallium 
conferred upon him by G., I- 
397, 400; G.'s help to, in be- 
half of care for Indians, I- 
416, 417; letter of G. to oppos- 
ing condemnation of Henry 
George's book Progress and 
Poverty, I-368, 369. 
Gross, The Rev. Mark S., pastor 
of St. Thomas Church, Wil- 
mington, N. C., shared living 
quarters with G., I-87, 91, 92; 
his acts of charity, I-91, 92; 
appointed Vicar Apostolic of 
N. C. but declines, I-179, 180. 

Hagan, Mrs. Peter, her recollec- 
tions of G.'s pastorate at St. 
Bridget's Church, Baltimore, 

n., 1-54- 

Haid, The Rt. Rev. Leo, Prior of 
Benedictine Abbey, at Bel- 
mont, N. C, when G. was 
Vicar Apostolic, suceeds as 
Vicar Apostolic later, I-113; 
address to G. at dedication of 
St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in 
Wilmington, N. C, II-753. 

Halifax, N. C, G. drives away 
robber who enters his room 
there, I-152, 

Harding, Warren G., President of 
U. S., G. offers prayer at 
convention which nominates 
him for President, n-768; 
tribute to G. at his death, II- 

Harrison, Benjamin, President of 
U. S., attends dedication of 
School of Sacred Sciences of 
Catholic University, I-450; re- 
ceives Satolli cordially, I-463 ; 
commends G.'s stand in oppo- 
sition to Cahenslyism, I-523 
to 525 ; meets G. at Deer Park, 
Md., II-763. 

Hartogensis, B. H., letter of G. 
to, deploring persecution of 
Jews in Russia under Czars, 

Harty, Archbishop, of Manila, re- 
ports to G. on progress of 

Filipinos under American 
sovereignty, II-773. 

Havre de Grace, Md., G. stricken 
while preaching there in 1920, 

Hayes, Archbishop, of New York, 
his work for National Catho- 
lic War Council, II-818. 

Hayes, R. B., President of U. S., 
confers with G. on Catholic 
Indians, I-201 ; meets G. at 
college commencement, I-202. 

Hays, Will H., Postmaster Gen- 
eral of U. S., attends funeral 
of G. as representative of 
President Harding, II-1060. 

Health of Cardinal Gibbons, im- 
paired by early labors in 
priesthood, I-53, 54; prudence 
in diet enforced by difficulty 
in digestion, I-229; light 
morning exercises, I-230; 
habit of taking long walks, 
1-222 to 226; his health again 
impaired by overwork in 
preparation for Third Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, soon 
recovers, I-248; undermined 
by labors in Rome in 1886-87, 
I-379 to 381 ; recuperates in 
leisurely trip homeward, I- 
381 to 385; his constitution 
fortified by moderation of 
habits in living, II-945 ; illness 
in Rome in 1901, solicitude of 
Leo XIII ^ for him, II-613; 
again ill in Rome in 1908, 
II-663 ; his endurance when 
nearly 80 years old, II-9S9, 
960; remarkably strong eye- 
sight, II-960; visits for rest 
to homes of Shriver family, 
II-960 to 961 ; visits to home 
of Martin Maloney, II-962. 

Hearn, Samuel B., condemned to 
death as a spy at Fort Mc- 
Henry, Baltimore, when G. 
was Chaplain there, I-55. 

Hecker, the Very Rev. Isaac 
Thomas, member of Redemp- 
torist Mission in New Orleans 
which influenced G. to enter 



priesthood, I-19; helped to 
found the Congregation of 
Missionary Priests of St. 
Paul, I-20; his views on the 
outlook for American Catho- 
lics after the Vatican Coun- 
cil, I-135 ; work for conver- 
sion of non-Catholics, I-545, 
546; biography by Father El- 
liott, I-544; Hecker com- 
mended by G., I-S49 to 551 ; 
by Archbishop Ireland, I-547 
to 549; Elliott's book misun- 
derstood in Europe, I-S51, 
552; letter of Leo XIII on 
Americanism deals with views 
of Hecker held abroad, re- 
buking errors, I-532 to 556; 
G.'s letter thanking Pope for 
dispelling misunderstanding, 
I-S57, 558; Ireland's letter on 
same, I-S58. 

Heiskell, S. G., letter of G. to, on 
recollections of Andrew Jack- 
son, I-io. 

Heiss, Archbishop, of Milwaukee, 
letter of G., to, opposing con- 
demnation of Henry George's 
book Progress and Poverty, 
I-368; welcomes G. on West- 
ern tour, I-397. 

Helena, Montana, public welcome 
to G. there (1887), I-339, 400. 

Hendrick, Bishop of Cebu, Philip- 
pines, asks G.'s help in protec- 
tion of Church in Philippines, 
II-621 ; President Roosevelt 
promises help, II-622. 

Hennessy, Archbishop, of Du- 
buque, active in work of 
Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, I-249. 

Heuisler, Charles W., welcomes G. 
in behalf of laity on return to 
Baltimore from Papal Con- 
clave in 1903, 11-656. 

Hewit, Augustine, member of Re- 
demptorist mission in New 
Orleans which influenced G. 
to enter the priesthood, I-19. 

Hierarchy, American, communica- 
tions to, often transmitted by 

Popes to Archbishops of Bal- 
timore, 1-66; G. the youngest 
member of, in 1868, I-82; as- 
semblage of, at Vatican coun- 
cil, I-116 to 139; at confer- 
ring of pallium on G., I- 183, 
184; Second Plenary Council 
of Baltimore, I-74 to 79; 
Third Plenary Council of 
Baltimore, I-234 to 276; gath- 
ering of in Baltimore for G.'s 
elevation to Cardinalate, I- 
284; G.'s aims and policies at 
outset of 'his Cardinalate, I- 
296 to 305 ; speech of G. in 
Rome in 1887 on relations of 
Church and State in U. S., 
I-308 to 310; causes comment 
in Rome, I-310, 311 ; his views 
the basis of church policies in 
U. S., I-311, 312, 314; arch- 
bishops at meeting in Balti- 
more decide not to condemn